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21st February 2019

From humble beginnings as a mutant underground rescue and support system founded by Father Garnoff, to a group of exiled mutants who took in the renegade Soviet Super-Soldiers, to finally attempting to be a heroic super-team, this group of constantly persecuted mutants fought long and hard to end the suffering of other mutants in the Soviet Union. Although they found themselves frequently up against harsh odds and overwhelmed, they nevertheless did what they could and to make a change for the oppressed in a world that hates and fears them.


Iron Curtain, Blind Faith, Mentac the Living Computer, Concussion, Siberian Tiger/Sibercat, Darkstar, Vanguard, Ursa Major, Stencil

Allies: Synthesizer

First Appearance: X-Factor Annual #1 (unnamed); Soviet Super-Soldiers #1 (Exiles); Starblast #1 (Siberforce)

Last Appearance: off-panel prior to Iron Man (3rd series) #9


  • The Soviet government had long been suspicious of super powered beings and had even gone as far as euthanizing mutants at birth. This practice ended shortly before the births of Darkstar and Vanguard. [Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #259]
  • The history of Blind Faith's mutant underground has been relatively unexplored. Blind Faith and his initial allies Mentac, Concussion, Iron Curtain and Siberian Tiger had not appeared prior to their encounter with the original X-Factor.
  • Stencil's history remains unrevealed, but she was presumably at one point rescued by Blind Faith's underground.
  • At some point, Arkady Tegai and Zoya Vasilievna, two scientists, married. Given Tegai's age, it's possible he and Blind Faith were friends.


Father Alexi Garnoff and his companions (including Mentac the Living Computer, Iron Curtain, Concussion and Siberian Tiger) operated out of a hidden cellar near the Kremlin. When they learned that the American mutant-hunters X-Factor were coming to the Soviet, Iron Curtain and an unnamed operative stormed the airport in protest. During the commotion, the unnamed operative was killed. What Garnoff didn't know was that X-Factor had been asked by a member of the US Sentate’s committee on mutant affairs to infiltrate a mysterious facility in the Soviet Union where countless Soviet mutants had been rounded up and horribly experimented on. The timing was fortuitous, as two Soviet officials had approached X-Factor about revealing their mutant hunting tactics to the Soviet government, even though they denied they had a “mutant problem.”

During a conference, X-Factor were introduced to the scientist responsible for the atrocities against the Soviet mutants, Dr. Heinreich. Oddly, Heinreich was a mutant himself, and kidnapped Iceman and used his powers to take on Iceman's appearance and abilities. Two of Heinreich's henchmen were preparing to dispose of Iceman when Garnoff and Iron Curtain rescued him and took him to their safe house. It was only subsequently that Garnoff realized that X-Factor were mutants themselves, who had come here to help Soviet mutants. They made their way to the Soviet facility where X-Factor found dozens of unfortunate mutants that Heinreich had been experimenting on. Heinreich soon revealed himself as Doppelganger and, with his operative Crimson Dynamo, fought X-Factor.

When Iceman, Garnoff and the others arrived, they were able to assist X-Factor, and rescue the mutants from the facility. However, while battling Iceman, Doppelganger was seemingly killed when the floor collapsed on him and he was crushed under rubble and ice. To avoid an international incident, Father Garnoff planted a hypnotic suggestion in the minds of X-Factor. When the team returned to Moscow and were met by the Soviet officials, X-Factor explained that they had apprehended Father Garnoff and Iron Curtain, thus avoiding any link with the incident at the facility. X-Factor were free to leave the Soviet Union, and hoped that Father Garnoff would be able to use his powers to ensure that he did not remain imprisoned for long. [X-Factor Annual #1]


  • At some point, Illich Lavrov changed his codename from Siberian Tiger to Sibercat.
  • Darkstar, Vanguard and Ursa Major found themselves under constant pressure from their government to serve as sanctioned agents. They preferred to remain independent heroes. The Soviet government formed a new team that they could control, the Supreme Soviets, who were sent to capture the heroes, so the Soviet Super-Soldiers attempted to defect to the West. [Captain America (1st series) #352-353]

Chronology Continued:

Unfortunately, negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union to enable the defected heroes to remain in the States failed, and Darkstar, Vanguard and Ursa Major were shipped back to the Soviet Union in stasis. They arrived at a mysterious research facility in Siberia, five hundred miles northeast of Norilsk, where Colonel-General Valentin Shatalov awaited their arrival. He was determined that the Soviet Super-Soldiers would learn that the only way to use their powers was for the benefit of the state.

However, the three outlaw heroes did not remain long at the research facility. Two weeks later, the facility was infiltrated by Blind Faith, concussion and Iron Curtain, who liberated the Soviet Super-Soldiers even while they remained in stasis. Blind Faith lamented that they couldn't rescue other mutants held in the facility, but it was important for the dreams of mutants – and humans – that the Soviet Super-Soldiers be freed. When the Soviet Super-Soldiers woke from their stasis, they were introduced to their rescuers, including the rest of the team, Sibercat and Mentac. Valentin Shatalov was furious when he learned of the Super-Soldiers' escape, and sent the assassin Firefox to hunt them down.

While Blind Faith, Vanguard, Ursa Major and Sibercat prepared a new safe house, Darkstar enjoyed some down time at another hideout on a farm in the Ukraine, along with Iron Curtain, Mentac, Concussion and another member of the underground, Stencil. Unfortunately, that downtime was cut short when Firefox tracked the mutants down and starting firing bullets into the safe house. Darkstar opened a portal to teleport the mutants to safety, but only she and Stencil were able to escape as Firefox created an explosion that sealed the others off, preventing them from fleeing. He fired tear gas into the safe house, sending the others into a state of confusion. All three were brutally murdered in short order – Iron Curtain exploded from the inside out after having a grenade of some sort shot down his throat, Mentac was killed with a shot to his head, and Concussion had both his hands shot off, before being shot in the face at point blank range.

Darkstar and Stencil reconnected with the others at the new safe house in the bustling city of Novosibersk, in the Siberian lowlands. Some of the mutants grew restless while they tried to find somewhere better to hide than in a busy city. Unfortunately, the Soviet army soon found them and surrounded the apartment. The Soviet Super-Soldiers and Sibercat fought back, repelling the soldiers by either knocking them out or by teleporting them away through Darkstar's teleportation power. Stencil, however, shot back at the soldiers, which was looked down upon by Darkstar and Blind Faith. During a moment's respite, Darkstar teleported the six mutants away. Though thwarted here, Firefox continued his mission to track the Soviet Super-Soldiers down, locating more of the mutant safe houses and killing the mutants that lived there. He seemed wholly unconcerned with the notion that he may have to kill every mutant in the Soviet Union to find the Super-Soldiers.

Darkstar, Vanguard, Ursa Major, Blind Faith, Sibercat and Stencil holed up in another safe house, this time in a bunker on the Black Sea, where several other mutants were housed as well. Realizing that the whole safe house system had failed them repeatedly in hiding from Firefox, Vanguard vowed to the frightened mutants that he would do what he had done his entire life – fight back. Unfortunately, only Sibercat and Stencil were at the safe house when Firefox arrived with a large army, resulting in more casualties. Help arrived with the return of Blind Faith and the Super-Soldiers, at which point Vanguard and Sibercat teamed up against Firefox. The two nearly killed their foe until Blind Faith prevented them from doing so. Vanguard grew frustrated with the group's purpose – were they supposed to fight or hide? To this, Blind Faith suggested there was no reason they couldn't do both.

When the Supreme Soviets captured the unstable Unicorn, they brought him to the mysterious Siberian research facility in which the Soviet Super-Soldiers had been held. As with their previous subjects, scientist Arkady Tegai and Zoya Vasilievna, who also happened to be husband and wife, intended to study their latest subject. However, when the Unicorn recovered more quickly than they had anticipated and moved to escape, the spouses feared for the safety of their coworkers and felt it finally necessary to demonstrate their own powers, the ability to merge into one being called Synthesizer. Despite their best effort, the Unicorn prevailed in the fight, only for him then to be captured by the Titanium Man.

Weeks passed, and Darkstar, Vanguard, Ursa Major, Blind Faith, Sibercat and Stencil found refuge in the Siberian lowlands, where they took time out to recover from their recent traumas. After some time, Vanguard expressed his frustration at simply hiding from their oppressors, at which point Blind Faith finally agreed that with the winds of change sweeping through their country, they must change, too – just as the government changed the name of the Supreme Soviet's to the People's Protectorate. Blind Faith dubbed his team the Exiles and vowed that they would, for the people of their great land, overthrow the Soviet Socialist government. [Soviet Super-Soldiers One-Shot]

Whatever plans Blind Faith had for the Exiles and the people of Russia never came to fruition. Nevertheless, the Exiles did respond to the needs of the people when they could, like the time the townspeople of Neftelensk, a Siberian oil rig town appeared to simply “switch off.” When Blind Faith and Darkstar journeyed to the desperate town to investigate, Darkstar was seemingly attacked by her father, the Presence. In actuality, he was a mental construct of her father that was used against her, rendering her as “switched off” as the townspeople. Blind Faith fell soon after, the mysterious force taking him out after offering him death. Russian officials learned that members of the renegade Exiles ventured to the town, but couldn’t care less that they had not been heard of since. The officials did not want to send either of their official super teams, the People's Protectorate or Remont, to investigate. Instead, they released Omega Red, who found the being responsible, the Soul Skinner. Colonel Alexi Vazhin was much more sympathetic to the plight of the mutants and, when he learned that his associates the X-Men were in Russia, he contacted them and they agreed to help him investigate. Fortunately, Darkstar and Blind Faith were found unharmed by Iceman and, when they recovered, joined the X-Men in battling the Soul Skinner, who was then shot in the head by Colonel Vazhin. [X-Men (2nd series) #17-19]

Although their continued quest seemed to go unfulfilled, the Exiles were re-christened Siberforce. The roster remained unchanged and the entire team were assembled at the Garnoff house in Siberia when Blind Faith intercepted transmissions that indicated the moon was moving towards Earth. Having experience on the moon, Darkstar suggested that she and Vanguard investigate. However, upon arrival, they ran into several other heroes who had also come to investigate. However, all assembled found themselves captured by a strange device that threatened to tear them all apart. Darkstar and Vanguard were rescued by Quasar and together the assembled heroes worked together to destroy the device that was causing the moon to move closer to the Earth.

The heroes all returned to Earth, until Quasar contacted them again when he learned that the moon crashing towards the Earth was simply subterfuge. Darkstar and Vanguard re-joined Quasar and others, this time including Perun of the People's Protectorate, whom neither of them trusted. From Quasar, they learned that a group of aliens had kidnapped the Watcher and Kayla Ballantine, Quasar’s lover who currently possessed the incredibly powerful Star Brand. This led to an intergalactic adventure during which Darkstar encountered Nightshade of the Imperial Guard, who also controlled the Darkforce. The cosmic adventure reached a turning point when heroes finally located the Starblasters, the aliens responsible for the intergalactic troubles. Vanguard was attacked by the alien called Threkker, who started to siphon his lifeforce. Darkstar tried to restrain him but it was too late, as Vanguard had been killed. Darkstar lashed out in a berserker rage, accidentally snapping Threkker's spine and killing him. Eventually, Darkstar decided to abandon the cosmic adventure, teleporting herself back to Earth with her brother's body, vowing to find a way to bring him back to life. [Starblast crossover]


  • Darkstar took Vanguard's body to her father's citadel in Khysstm, where the Presence believed Quasar arranged for Vanguard's death as revenge against him for their past encounters. Vanguard's body was placed in a glass chamber, while Darkstar accompanied her mad father, who was hell-bent on killing Quasar's family as payback. Darkstar and the Presence battled Quasar so intensely that Quasar was forced to retreat, letting them believe that they had killed him. [Quasar #60]
  • At some point, Vanguard's body was moved to a display case at the Kremlin in Moscow, where the Presence continued to mourn the loss of his beloved son. Seeking a way to return his son to life, the Presence was able to drain nearly all of his own energies re-igniting Vanguard's life force and returning him to the land of the living. [Avengers (3rd series) #43]

Chronology Continued:

Although it's unclear whether Siberforce were still active as a complete team, Ursa Major and Vanguard were still active and the two became involved with a general by the name of Tskarov. The two heroes were unaware that General Tskarov had captured Darkstar and planned to use her powers for his personal gain. Vanguard and Ursa Major battled Daredevil and the Black Widow, while Darkstar held off Tskarov for as long as she could, before her teammates, the Black Widow and Daredevil were able to rescue her. [Daredevil (1st series) #369-370]


  • The winds of change swept not only the Russian government, but also Russia's super teams, as both Siberforce and the People's Protectorate either went their separate ways, or were disbanded in details not fully chronicled.
  • A new Russian super team was formed consisting of Siberforce members Darkstar, Vanguard and Sibercat, People's Protectorate members Steel Guardian, Vostok and Fantasma, and another Russian super being, Powersurge. [Iron Man (3rd series) #9-10]
  • Blind Faith apparently went into retirement, as he has never been seen again. However, he was identified as being de-powered following “M-Day.” [New Avengers (1st series) #18]
  • Stencil and Synthesizer have not appeared again, and their fates and whereabouts remain unknown.
  • Ursa Major maintained a low profile, but apparently joined the Winter Guard at some point prior to Darkstar's death. [Darkstar & the Winter Guard #2]


Iron Curtain (Simas Androvich)

First Appearance: X-Factor Annual #1
All Exiles/Siberforce appearances: X-Factor Annual #1, Soviet Super-Soldiers #1

Powers: Superhuman strength and resistance to physical injury

Blind Faith (Father Alexi Garnoff)

First Appearance: X-Factor Annual #1
All Exiles/Siberforce appearances: X-Factor Annual #1, Soviet Super-Soldiers #1, X-Men (2nd series) #17-19, Starblast #1

Powers: Minor telepath with hypnotic abilities, able to entrance others with a glance, command their actions or behavior, edit their memories, and plant directives for them to carry out after they awaken

Mentac the Living Computer

First Appearance: X-Factor Annual #1
All Exiles/Siberforce appearances: X-Factor Annual #1, Soviet Super-Soldiers #1

Powers: Superhuman intelligence, cognitive processing abilities allow him to analyze data and compute the outcome of various actions to a high degree of probability

Concussion (Mikhail)

First Appearance: X-Factor Annual #1
All Exiles/Siberforce appearances: X-Factor Annual #1, Soviet Super-Soldiers #1

Powers: Bio-blaster able to project concussive force beams from his hands

Siberian Tiger / Sibercat (Illyich Lavrov)

First Appearance: X-Factor Annual #1
All Exiles/Siberforce appearances: X-Factor Annual #1, Soviet Super-Soldiers #1, Starblast #1

Powers: Feline mutation providing enhanced strength, speed, agility, endurance, reflexes, hyper-acute senses, and razor sharp claws

Darkstar (Laynia Petrovna)

First Appearance: Champions (1st series) #7
All Exiles/Siberforce appearances: Soviet Super-Soldiers #1, X-Men (2nd series) #17-19, Starblast #1, Quasar #54, Starblast #2, Quasar #55, Starblast #3, Quasar #56, Quasar #60, Daredevil (1st series) #369-370

Powers: Cross-dimensional soul connects her to the Darkforce Dimension, allowing her to summon intangible darkness, project force blasts, solid Darkforce constructs, create inter-dimensional portals for teleportation, levitate herself and fly, onyx jewel on her headdress acts as a condit to focus her powers

Vanguard (Nicolai Krylenko)

First Appearance: Iron Man (1st series) #109
All Exiles/Siberforce appearances: Soviet Super-Soldiers #1, Starblast #1, Quasar #54, Starblast #2, Quasar #55, Starblast #3, Quasar #56, Daredevil (1st series) #369-370

Powers: Repulsive force field forcibly expels anything that enters its radius, protecting him from harm and striking people and objects in close proximity, wields hammer and sickle that can channel his force field into directional repulsor blasts and contain gyroscopic circuitry that causes them to return to his grasp after thrown

Ursa Major (Major Mikhail Urlokovitch Ursus)

First Appearance: Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #258
All Exiles/Siberforce appearances: Soviet Super-Soldiers #1, Starblast #1, Daredevil (1st series) #369-370

Powers: Enhanced strength and durability, transmorph able to assume the form of an ambipedal grizzly bear with even greater strength and claws

Stencil (Maria)

First Appearance: Soviet Super-Soldiers #1
All Exiles/Siberforce appearances: Soviet Super-Soldiers #1, Starblast #1

Powers: Psycho-absorption effect, stealing the conscous of another person to leave them a vegetable while gaining access to their thoughts, memories and personality; permanently retains the mind of a Russian military officer

Synthesizer (Arkady Tegai & Zoya Vasilievna)

First Appearance: Soviet Super-Soldiers #1
All Exiles/Siberforce appearances: Soviet Super-Soldiers #1

Powers: Gestalt energy being formed by the merger of two non-powered scientists, capable of flight and the projection of light, sound, and electromagnetic force