Omega Red
Omega Red.
Art by Dave DeVries
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceX-Men #4 (vol. 2, January 1992)
Created byJohn Byrne (writer)
Jim Lee (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoArkady Gregorivich Rossovich
SpeciesHuman Mutant
Team affiliationsThe Hand
Red Mafia
Weapon X-Force
The Marauders
Notable aliasesArkady Gregorivich
Vasyliev Arkady

Omega Red is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, most commonly in association with the X-Men. In 2009, Omega Red was ranked as IGN's 95th-greatest comic book villain of all time.[1]

Publication history

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2015)

Omega Red first appeared in X-Men #4 (vol. 2, January 1992), and was created by Jim Lee and John Byrne.[2]

Fictional character biography

Little is known about the past of Arkady Gregorivich Rossovich except that he was a serial killer born in Soviet Russia. He was captured by the Interpol agent Sean Cassidy and turned over to the KGB, which wanted to experiment and attempt to create a supersoldier similar to Captain America. Omega Red is the result.[3]

In another version of Omega Red's past, Arkady was a Soviet soldier stationed in a small Siberian town. He was a murderer; his crimes easily discoverable due to the town's small size and limited number of potential victims. He was caught by his fellow soldiers and summarily executed via a gunshot to the back of the head. His superiors are astonished when Arkady survives the execution, and recommend him for the aforementioned Soviet super soldier project, a brutal process; it is suggested that Arkady survives solely due to his evil and cruel nature. He becomes an operative for Soviet intelligence and the KGB.[4]

The Soviet government implanted a retractable carbonadium tentacle within each of Omega Red's arms. Carbonadium was the Soviets' attempt to recreate the artificial alloy known as adamantium, as carbonadium is a more malleable form of adamantium. He uses them as weapons and as grappling appendages. He is able to wrap a victim in his coils to drain them of their "life" energy. This vampiric tendency is essential to Omega Red's survival; the carbonadium implants, while great offensive weapons, slowly poisoned him and he was required to regularly drain the life energy of a person, or perhaps take small amounts from larger numbers of individuals, in order to temporarily sustain his immune system. In order to stabilize his condition, Omega Red requires the "Carbonadium Synthesizer," a device that was stolen by Wolverine, Maverick, and Sabretooth during their final mission together as "Team X" and attempted rescue of double agent Janice Hollenbeck in the 1960s.[a] It is because of his need for the Carbonadium Synthesizer that Omega Red has continuously sought out these three individuals over the years, believing they may know of its whereabouts. While Sabretooth and Maverick might have been aware of its location, it was eventually revealed that Wolverine actually does know where it is.[5]

Omega Red also battled John Wraith in Berlin at that time.[6]

At some time in the past, the Soviet government decided that Omega Red was too unpredictable and treacherous to be relied upon. As such, he needed to be put in cryogenic suspended animation until a method could be found to control him. After the fall of Communism in Russia he was revived from suspended animation by Matsu'o Tsurayaba, who led his own renegade faction of the clan of ninja known as The Hand. Omega Red became a warrior serving Matsu'o Tsurayaba and was led to believe that Wolverine knew the whereabouts of the Carbonadium Synthesizer which could save his life, and sought him out in an effort to find this device. In doing so, he came into conflict with the X-Men many times. In their first encounter in modern times, Omega Red captured Wolverine.[7] He fought and defeated Wolverine, and brought him to Tsurayaba, Fenris, and Cornelius in Berlin.[8] He battled the X-Men,[9] and was wounded by Psylocke and defeated by the X-Men and Maverick but escaped.[10] Later, Omega Red battled and fell under the mental control of the Soul Skinner in Siberia. The Soul Skinner then used him to battle Wolverine and the X-Men. Omega Red was able to subdue the team and capture Wolverine and Jubilee and was then sent to capture Colossus, who had retreated. Omega Red eluded capture by Wolverine after the Soul Skinner's death.[11] He later fought against Chamber of Generation X, but suffered a humiliating defeat.[3] Ultimately, Omega Red failed to eliminate Wolverine and proved to be no more loyal to the Hand than he was to the Soviet government.[volume & issue needed]

He has worked for Neocommunist organizations and tried to kill a member of the Americomp organization, but was stopped by Daredevil and Black Widow.[volume & issue needed]

Omega Red was later employed by Russian gangster Ivan Pushkin to incite a war between the terrorist organization HYDRA and the technology suppliers A. I. M.[volume & issue needed]

While working for the drug lord known as the General, Omega Red was recruited by Sabretooth to attack Wolverine's friends and family alongside Lady Deathstrike. Sabretooth had promised both Omega Red and Deathstrike information on almost every mutant on Earth, but betrayed his new henchmen by teleporting away with Wolverine, his ward Amiko, and the information.[volume & issue needed]

Omega Red is currently a crime lord (head of the Red Mafia) who poses as a legitimate business man, much like Wilson Fisk does in the U.S.[volume & issue needed] At present, Omega Red has resumed his search for the Carbonadium Synthesizer.[volume & issue needed] In Wolverine: Origins #6 and #7, Omega Red locates former Team X member, and now one of the numerous depowered mutants, Agent Zero, a.k.a. Maverick, who is the only person that knows the location of the Carbonadium Synthesizer. This brings him into direct confrontation with Wolverine, who has also sought out Maverick in hopes of locating the Carbonadium Synthesizer. The result of this encounter is that Wolverine outsmarts Omega Red, landing him in the custody of S.H.I.E.L.D.[volume & issue needed]

Months later, it becomes known that the Red Room bought Omega Red's freedom with the hopes of using him to their own ends. Wolverine, Colossus, and Nightcrawler encounter him after he has freed himself from his master, however, and they engage in combat. Omega Red is largely impervious to Wolverine's claws; the Red Room had been experimenting on his body in an effort to enhance his healing factor. After Nightcrawler intervenes and knocks Omega Red unconscious, he is returned to S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.[12]

Thanks to the enigmatic Romulus, Omega Red is transferred to a regular Russian prison to set a trap for Wolverine. Aided by Wild Child, their plan consisted of dropping Logan into molten steel. However, as Wild Child was preparing to finish the job, Omega Red interrupted him. While Wild Child and Omega Red battle each other, Logan managed to flee. A distracted Wild Child is consequently thrown into the molten steel by Omega Red after having his chest punctured.[13]

Omega Red was killed after being stabbed in the heart with the Muramasa blade by Wolverine.[14]

Omega Red later appears in Hell attempting to attack Wolverine by binding him with his tentacles, but is quickly taken down when Wolverine grabs him by the tentacles and flips him over.[15]

The body of Arkady Rossovich was later obtained by some Russian members of the Church of St. Mitrophan who, after a mystical ceremony made by their magiks, were able to raise Omega Red back to life. However, the procedure is only temporary, as the grave will continue to call Arkady, nevertheless they reassure him that they will continue searching for a way to overcome this limitation.[16] The limitation was eventually solved when the Russian Mafia used the abilities of X-Man Magik to restore Omega Red to his fullest strength, but he was nevertheless defeated and delivered to the custody of S.I.C.K.L.E. (the Russian version of S.H.I.E.L.D.).[17]

Arriving bloodied and beaten at Krakoa and seeking asylum, Omega Red is met by Wolverine, who tries to persuade Magneto that Arkady is too dangerous to be allowed on the island, as he poses too serious a threat to the women and children living there. Investigating his claims of a secret vampire enclave hidden in Paris, Wolverine is captured by Vlad Dracula, who has rejuvenated himself by drinking his blood. As per their agreement, Dracula presents Omega Red with the Carbonadium Synthesizer, warning him that it now contains a detonator, whereupon Arkady will serve as a spy in the service of Vlad to aid against any interference from the mutants towards the Vampire Nation's hidden agenda.[18] At Wolverine's insistence, Omega Red is restrained by Krakoa and psychically interrogated by Jean Grey, whereupon X-Force discovers that Omega Red has indeed been mesmerized by Dracula to possibly serve as a spy for the Vampire Nation in exchange for the Carbonadium Synthesizer that is implanted within his chest. While Beast discusses with Forge about creating a duplicate C-Synth containing audio surveillance and homing beacon capabilities, we learn that the detonator has exploded, killing Omega Red. Resurrection protocols will involve delayed consciousness uploading after his new body has hatched insuring he has no memory of his death or rebirth, allowing him to serve X-Force as a double agent in his future dealings with Dracula.[19]

Powers and abilities

Omega Red is a mutant with superhuman strength, stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes, and the ability to secrete pheromones from his body typically referred to as "Death Spores". The death spores result in the weakness or death of humans in his immediate vicinity. The severity of the effect is based on the endurance, health, and relative proximity of the victims. The spores are fatal to ordinary humans within seconds, though some superhumanly powered beings can withstand exposure to them for extended periods of time.

Implanted within Omega Red's arms are long retractable tendril-like coils made of carbonadium, an artificial alloy that is the former Soviet Union's attempt at creating true adamantium. Carbonadium is more malleable than adamantium and, while being vastly stronger than steel, is considerably less durable than adamantium. Carbonadium, however, is for all practical purposes virtually indestructible. Omega Red can cause the coils to shoot forward from openings in the undersides of his wrists in order to ensnare his victims. Omega Red is able to use the tentacles as highly effective offensive weapons, often brandishing them like whips during combat. The natural durability of the tentacles, combined with his physical strength, are sufficient to cause damage to most conventional materials.

Omega Red also has superhuman levels of stamina sufficient to engage Wolverine in combat continuously for over eighteen hours with no signs of fatigue. His bodily tissues are harder and more resistant to certain types of injury than those of an ordinary human. While he is not invulnerable, his body can withstand great impact and blunt trauma forces that would result in severe injury or death in an ordinary human. However, his resistance to injury is considerably enhanced due to the red carbonadium armor that he wears, which has been sufficient to allow him to withstand powerful energy blasts from the likes of Chamber,[volume & issue needed] and Wolverine's claws,[volume & issue needed] without sustaining injury.

Omega Red has the ability, and need, to drain the life force of victims with his pheromones in order to sustain his own. Omega Red can likewise ensnare his victims within his tentacles, and use the coils as a conduit for his lethal pheromones. Due to the mutant "death factor" and the presence of the carbonadium within his body, Omega Red must drain the life force of others on a regular basis in order to sustain his own physical health and remain active. Omega Red can use these absorbed energies to, temporarily, increase his body's healing capabilities to the point where he can fully heal from a punctured lung within a few minutes. Only a device known as the Carbonadium Synthesizer can stabilize his condition, as carbonadium is the only metal that can neutralize the "death factor," thereby stabilizing it within his body.

Omega Red is an excellent hand-to-hand combatant and military tactician. He was trained in various forms of armed and unarmed combat by both the Soviet government and various organizations throughout the Japanese and Russian criminal underworlds. Highly intelligent, he has quickly become highly skilled in the management of criminal organizations.


Other versions

Age of Apocalypse

In the "Age of Apocalypse" timeline, there is a different version of Omega Red known only as Rossovich. Instead of a homicidal maniac, Rossovich appeared more sane and business-like. He had ties to the mutant underground and the black market. He ended up face-to-face with Domino and Grizzly, who appeared to take his life when he couldn't provide them with the information they needed.[21]

After the death of Apocalypse and the ascension of Weapon X into Weapon Omega, the heir of Apocalypse, it was mentioned that Rossovich had, in fact, survived and had returned to his country where under the alias of Omega Red had built an army strong enough to overrun most of Asia and Eastern Europe with relative ease. When Weapon Omega was eventually deposed, the threat from Omega Red to the East was expected, yet the first wave never came and it never would, as Omega Red had been given the knowledge that the canister containing the Apocalypse power was now in Prophet's possession.[22]

Days of Future Now

In the "Days of Future Now" story, Omega Red is a member of X-Force.[volume & issue needed]


During the "Ultimate Invasion" storyline, Maker visited Earth-6160 and remade it into his own image. Omega Red appears as a member of the Rasputin family. He is among the Rasputin family members that attend Maker's event at The City in Latveria.[23] Omega Red was with the Rasputin family when they attended a gathering following the death of Obadiah Stane.[24] Omega Red and the Rasputin family are among the leaders that meet outside The City after it closed up with Maker, Kang the Conqueror, and Howard Stark still inside as they make plans to divide up Howard's territory.[25]

Ultimate Marvel

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Omega Red is an enemy of Spider-Man. He is depicted as a mutant with a hatred of humans. At some point, he had been hired to attack a cargo ship belonging to Roxxon Industries as a conspiracy by Tinkerer against its leader Donald Roxxon. After his fight with Spider-Man, he was arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D. However, he managed to escape when the Green Goblin escaped. His defeat by Spider-Man became public knowledge because of articles written by J. Jonah Jameson detailing his humiliation. Subsequently, his former clients blacklisted him. He blamed Jameson for the loss of his livelihood. When Jameson began writing articles critical of Roxxon, Omega Red went to the Daily Bugle office disguised as a janitor and ambushed Jameson in his office with the intent to do Roxxon a high-profile favor and restore his mercenary career. Unfortunately, Peter Parker happened to be in the Bugle office that day. Changing into his Spider-Man costume and bursting through Jameson's office window, he quickly subdued Omega Red, ultimately knocking him unconscious with a vending machine.[26] His tentacles extend from the tops of his wrists instead of the bottom and appear to be organic, not artificial. He has demonstrated superhuman strength.[27]

He is later imprisoned in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Triskelion, and freed in a breakout by Electro hired by Norman Osborn along with Kraven, and Gwen Stacy/Carnage.[28]

Several months later after the death of Spider-Man, Omega Red is seen resuming his work. He is stopped by the second Spider-Man.[29]

In other media



Video games


  1. ^ As revealed in X-Men Vol. 2 #6


  1. ^ Omega Red is number 95 Archived 2012-08-25 at the Wayback Machine IGN. Retrieved 10-05-09.
  2. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Sanderson, Peter; Brevoort, Tom; Teitelbaum, Michael; Wallace, Daniel; Darling, Andrew; Forbeck, Matt; Cowsill, Alan; Bray, Adam (2019). The Marvel Encyclopedia. DK Publishing. p. 261. ISBN 978-1-4654-7890-0.
  3. ^ a b Generation X #11. Marvel Comics.
  4. ^ Maverick: In the Shadow of Death #1 (1997). Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ Wolverine: Origins #31. Marvel Comics.
  6. ^ Wolverine #61. Marvel Comics.
  7. ^ X-Men Vol. 2 #4. Marvel Comics.
  8. ^ X-Men Vol. 2 #5. Marvel Comics.
  9. ^ X-Men Vol. 2 #6. Marvel Comics.
  10. ^ X-Men Vol. 2 #7. Marvel Comics.
  11. ^ X-Men Vol. 2 #18–19. Marvel Comics.
  12. ^ Uncanny X-Men 497–499. Marvel Comics.
  13. ^ Wolverine: Origins #39. Marvel Comics.
  14. ^ Wolverine Origins #39. Marvel Comics.
  15. ^ Wolverine vol. 4 #3. Marvel Comics.
  16. ^ X-Men Gold #9. Marvel Comics.
  17. ^ X-Men Gold #10. Marvel Comics.
  18. ^ Wolverine Vol. 7 #1. Marvel Comics.
  19. ^ X-Force Vol. 6 #15. Marvel Comics.
  20. ^ Lealos, Shawn S. (2018-09-16). "Age Of Apocalypse: The 30 Strongest Characters In Marvel's Coolest Alternate World". CBR. Retrieved 2022-10-11.
  21. ^ X-Man #2 (1995). Marvel Comics.
  22. ^ Age of Apocalypse #13. Marvel Comics.
  23. ^ Ultimate Invasion #2. Marvel Comics.
  24. ^ Ultimate Invasion #3. Marvel Comics.
  25. ^ Ultimate Invasion #4. Marvel Comics.
  26. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #86. Marvel Comics.
  27. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #87. Marvel Comics.
  28. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #113. Marvel Comics.
  29. ^ Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #7. Marvel Comics.
  30. ^ Len Doncheff Biography
  31. ^ a b "Omega Red Voice - X-Men franchise | Behind The Voice Actors". December 19, 2019. Check mark indicates role has been confirmed using screenshots of closing credits and other reliable sources.((cite web)): CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  32. ^ Valentin, Mel (January 28, 2009). "Movie Review - Hulk Vs". Archived from the original on March 21, 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  33. ^ Han, Angie (August 6, 2018). "Omega Red shows his face in this bonus feature from 'Deadpool 2': Watch". Mashable. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  34. ^ Couch, Aaron (June 14, 2019). "Longtime 'X-Men' Editor Shares His Abandoned 'Beast' Script". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  35. ^ "GameFAQs: X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse (SNES) FAQ/Walkthrough by Black Rabite". Archived from the original on 2007-03-09.
  36. ^ @MarvelPuzzle (July 27, 2023). "Check out MPQ's newest Original Character take on Omega Red (Horseman of Pestilence)! ☠️ Swear fealty to Apocalypse and don the mantle of a Horseman to gain the power to steal life itself from your foes" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  37. ^ "Piecing Together MARVEL Puzzle Quest: Omega Red (Arkady Rossovich) & Omega Red (Horseman of Pestilence)". July 27, 2023. Retrieved September 23, 2023.