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Crimson Dynamo
Anton Vanko as the original Crimson Dynamo.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Tales of Suspense #46
(Oct 1963)
Created by Stan Lee (writer)
Don Heck (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Anton Vanko (original)
Abilities Varies with each version, but usually includes: resistance to damage, super-strength, electrical discharges and flight. The 8th version could also be piloted by remote control using only its helmet

The Crimson Dynamo (Russian: Багровый Динамо, Bagrovyj Dinamo) is the name of several fictional characters in the Marvel Comics Universe, most of whom have been supervillains. The character's original incarnation first appeared in Tales of Suspense #46 (Oct. 1963). The various Crimson Dynamos have been powered armor-wearing Russian or Soviet agents who have clashed with the superhero Iron Man over the course of his heroic career.


Anton Vanko

Professor Anton Vanko (Russian language: Анто́н Ва́нко), the first Crimson Dynamo, was also the armor's creator. A Soviet scientist of Armenian birth with a Ph.D in Physics, Vanko was one of the world's foremost experts on electricity. At the behest of the Soviet government, he built a powered exoskeleton capable of performing incredible feats; Vanko's Crimson Dynamo armor allowed him to generate and control electricity in all of its forms, allowing him to fire devastating bolts of lightning and fly using electromagnetic propulsion.

As Crimson Dynamo, Vanko was tasked by the Russian government with defeating his American counterpart Iron Man in battle.[1] After losing to Iron Man, Vanko defected to the United States out of fear that his superiors would kill him for failing. Vanko began to work for Tony Stark as one of his chief scientists. Eventually, the two became friends and Vanko developed pride and admiration for his new home. Unfortunately, soon the Soviets came for Vanko, just as he predicted. The KGB sent their top agent Black Widow as well as Boris Turgenev. Vanko died saving Iron Man by firing an unstable, experimental laser pistol at Boris, killing himself in the process.[2]

Boris Turgenov

Boris Turgenov, the second Crimson Dynamo, had a very short career as a supervillain. In his first and only appearance Tales of Suspense #52 (April 1964), Turgenov came to the United States with the Black Widow to kill Anton Vanko, Tony Stark and Iron Man (thought to be one of Stark's bodyguards). Turgenov almost carried out his mission, virtually defeating Iron Man with the stolen Crimson Dynamo suit. He was killed when Vanko sacrificed his own life for the cause of freedom by firing an experimental and unstable laser pistol at Boris.

Both Vanko's heroic sacrifice and Turgenov's death were revisited in the Iron Man miniseries Enter the Mandarin, where it is revealed that Temugin (the Mandarin's son) witnessed the event.

Alex Nevsky

File:Crimson Dynamo 002.jpg

Alex Nevsky as the third Crimson Dynamo.

Alex Nevsky, the third Crimson Dynamo, first appeared in Iron Man #15 (July 1969). Nevsky was Anton Vanko's up-and-coming protege and greatly admired and respected his scientific genius. But when the Soviet government discredited Vanko after he fled to the West, this ruined Nevsky's promising career. Sent into exile for his association with the turncoat, Nevsky grew to hate the Soviet Union as well as Iron Man for besting Vanko. Nevsky also sought vengeance against Tony Stark, whom Nevsky felt exploited Vanko under the American capitalist system (not knowing that Stark and Iron Man are the same person). Disguised as brilliant new scientist Alex Niven behind Cord Industries, he planned to help the struggling competitor beat out Stark Industries in the marketplace.[3] From there, Nevsky used a new and improved Crimson Dynamo armor and bested Iron Man. Finally, he worked towards undermining Tony Stark by romancing Janice Cord, Stark's girlfriend at the time and Cord Industries's CEO's daughter.

After he donned the Crimson Dynamo armor in public,[4] his old Soviet masters sent the Titanium Man to kill him. When Titanium Man killed Janice, Nevsky blamed Iron Man for the tragedy and swore to avenge her.[5] Although he held Titanium Man just as responsible for Janice's death, Nevsky was forced by circumstance to partner with him and Radioactive Man in Vietnam, where all three Communist-aligned fugitives formed the Titanic Three.[6] After defecting to Vietnam, Nevsky made one final attempt to kill Iron Man and was once again unsuccessful.[7] As a result, he was found and assassinated by the KGB and they confiscated his armor for their own purposes.[8]

Yuri Petrovich

Yuri Petrovich, the fourth Crimson Dynamo, first appeared in Champions #7 (Aug. 1976) as the son of Ivan Petrovich - a friend of the Black Widow (now-reformed). When Western agents (presumably Americans) failed to convince Ivan to defect to the West, they assassinated Yuri's mother; in the chaos that followed, Ivan and Yuri each believed the other dead. Yuri was brought to the West, where Soviet agents posing as Westerners indoctrinated him to hate the West. When Black Widow and Ivan defected to the United States, Yuri was "rescued" by the Soviets, returned to Russia, and trained as a KGB assassin. He was given the Crimson Dynamo armor and sent to kill the Black Widow and Ivan. Yuri and his allies (his girlfriend Darkstar, the Griffin, Rampage, and the original Titanium Man) fought the Black Widow and her teammates, the Champions. When Yuri learned of the true nature of his "Western" captors, he went berserk. Darkstar teamed up with the Champions to subdue Yuri, and after he and his other allies were defeated, Yuri was returned to Russia, convicted by the Soviet government, and exiled to a Siberian labor camp.[9]

Dmitri Bukharin

Main article: Dmitri Bukharin

Dmitri Bukharin as the fifth Crimson Dynamo.

Dmitri Bukharin, the fifth Crimson Dynamo, was given Yuri Petrovich's armor by his masters in the KGB. He joined the Soviet Super-Soldiers, but was expelled after his teammates decided to sever their connections to the Soviet government. Afterward, he received a new, redesigned suit of armor.[10] He later joined the Supreme Soviets, a group of superhumans who were loyal to the Soviet government; the group became the People's Protectorate after the USSR dissolved. When the new government confiscated his armor, he was given another suit and adopted the codename Airstrike. By the events of Dark Reign, however, he had returned to the identity and armor of the Crimson Dynamo, albeit as an ally of Iron Man instead of an enemy.

Bukharin's tenure as the Crimson Dynamo - from April 1978 (his debut in Iron Man #109) to April 1990 - is the longest of anyone in the Crimson Dynamo's publication history, and occurred during such seminal Iron Man storylines as "Demon in a Bottle", "Doomquest", and "Armor Wars". As a result, Bukharin's Crimson Dynamo is often considered to be the definitive version of the character.

Valentin Shatalov

File:Crimson Dynamo Shatalov.jpg

Valentin Shatalov as the sixth Crimson Dynamo.

Valentin Shatalov, a Colonel-General in the Soviet Army and a KGB agent, first appeared in Iron Man #255 (April 1990). He used his rank to obtain the Crimson Dynamo armor from Dmitri Bukharin for his own use. He was the founder of Remont-4, a group of Russian superhumans who sought to return the Soviet Union to Stalinism. Shatalov and his allies (the cyborg Firefox and the original Unicorn among others) recruited the original Titanium Man to their cause. The Remont-4 fought the Soviet Super Soldiers and a group of Russian mutant exiles in addition to plaguing Iron Man.[11]

In Shalatov's first appearance as the Crimson Dynamo, he was in a training session with Devastator in Russia at the same time Iron Man had encountered an out-of-control mutant dubbing himself Freak Quincy in Los Angeles. Quincy's out-of-control powers tapped into Devastator's satellite uplink from the other side of the world, and he managed to switch the minds of Stark and Shalatov. His unfamiliarity with the Iron Man armor resulted in Shalatov firing pulse bolts that destroyed Quincy's arms, although the mutant survived. After Stark and Shalatov struggled to maintain each other's identities, Shalatov was able to get the hospitalized Quincy to recreate the transmission that switched their minds. Out of respect for Stark, Shalatov did not reveal Stark's identity.[12]

Sometime after the fall of the Soviet Union, Shalatov received an upgraded Crimson Dynamo armor, less bulky than Bukharin's model, and with silver accents, this was the first Crimson Dynamo armor that was not completely crimson. Shalatov later met Tony Stark in person, when the latter traveled to Russia to oversee the opening of the first Stark Enterprises branch in the country, and revealed to Stark that he had kept his identity as Iron Man a secret. Stark's trip to Russia was interrupted by the rampage of the Titanium Man, Boris Bullski, who still could not accept the new Russia, and saw Stark's presence in his homeland as an affront to everything he believed the U.S.S.R. stood for. As the Titanium Man fought Iron Man, the Black Widow, and the Crimson Dynamo, Shalatov's leg was broken. He begged Iron Man not to finish the fight with Bullski, as he felt having the American Avenger take down a former Soviet hero would be too damaging to his country's morale. Stark volunteered to wear the Dynamo armor in Shalatov's place, and with radio assistance from Shalatov and the Widow, fought Bullski. When Bullski refused to surrender, Shalatov overrode Stark's control of the Dynamo armor, firing a blast that killed Bullski. Shalatov took the fall with his superiors, who had wanted to recover Bullski alive, and he was relieved of his duties as Crimson Dynamo.[13]

Like many of Iron Man's Cold War-era villains, the Crimson Dynamo fell into a degree of obscurity after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Since Shatalov, there have been seven people to bear the Crimson Dynamo mantle, almost all of them anonymous, short-lived or otherwise unremarkable foes.

Gregar Valski

The seventh Crimson Dynamo was an unknown man wearing Dmitri Bukharin's former armor. His skill with the armor was minimal, and he was deftly handled by both Nick Fury (whom his employer had earlier brainwashed) and Captain America.[14]

Gennady Gavrilov


Gennady Gavrilov as the eighth Crimson Dynamo.

In Marvel Epic's six issue 2003 series "Crimson Dynamo", Russian collegiate Gennady Gavrilov became the eighth Crimson Dynamo after he found the helmet of a "Beta unit" designed by Anton Vanko based on but improved over the original, with its very own recharging satellite in orbit. Believing the helmet to be a sophisticated gaming system, Gavrilov caused the dormant armor to awaken and make its way towards the helmet, inadvertently leaving a trail of destruction. He would eventually, if briefly, wear the entire armor in a standoff with the Russian military. He kept the armor afterward.[15]

Crimson Dynamo IX

The ninth Crimson Dynamo appeared in the Secret War miniseries as a member of Lucia von Bardas's army of villains which she gathered to defeat the Avengers. This Crimson Dynamo's armor was created by the Tinkerer.[16]

Crimson Dynamo X

The tenth Crimson Dynamo is introduced in Iron Man vol. 4 #7 (June 2006) where he is apprehended by Iron Man after attempting to rob a bank. It was later revealed that this armor had been bought on the black market, and that the designs for Crimson Dynamo-based technology have been for sale for a while.[17]

Crimson Dynamo XI

The eleventh Crimson Dynamo was a member of the "Alpha Gen Soviet Super-Soldiers", a group of Russian superhumans put into cryogenic stasis after the Cold War ended. During a fight between the Order and the Infernal Man, Order member Corona set off an enormous explosion which awakened the Super-Soldiers. This Crimson Dynamo was apparently destroyed by Order members Supernaut and Aralune.[18]

Boris Vadim

Boris Vadim, the twelfth Crimson Dynamo, first appears in the premiere issue of Hulk vol. 2 (March 2008). A S.H.I.E.L.D.-sanctioned team consisting of Iron Man, Doc Samson and She-Hulk encounters the Winter Guard, a Russian superhero team of which Vadim is a member, while investigating the apparent murder of the Abomination in Russia.[19] In War Machine: Weapon of SHIELD, Vadim was seen ignoring orders from his superiors and helping War Machine defeat invading Skrulls.[20] He later flees to the United States seeking political asylum, joining the Red Hulk's mercenary group.[21] Some time later, while battling the mutated Igor Drenkov, Vadim was devoured.[22]

Galina Nemirovsky

Galina Nemirovsky replaced Boris Vadim to become the thirteenth Crimson Dynamo.[23] She is considered by her Russian masters to be one of the best Crimson Dynamo pilots ever, and was a graduate of their "Federal Dynamo" program.[24]

Galina was recruited by Mandarin and Zeke Stane to join the other Iron Man villains in a plot to take down Iron Man. Mandarin and Zeke Stane gave Galina a new Crimson Dynamo armor.[25]

Powers and abilities

The Crimson Dynamo wears an armored battle-suit that serves as an exoskeleton, providing the wearer with superhuman strength and durability. The suit's outer layer was composed of a carborundum matrix alloy, and is equipped with hand-blasters that can fire high-frequency electrical bolts, small missiles contained in the back shoulder area of the battle-suit, computers and radio transmitter and receiver, boot jets that allow flight. Subsequent versions of the battle-suit have featured upgrades of various kinds, by the Gremlin and other Russian scientists. As Crimson Dynamo, Valentin Shatalov's version of the armor was equipped with a powerful chest-mounted fusion-caster weapon.

Other versions

Heroes Reborn

In the Heroes Reborn universe, created by Franklin Richards, Anton Vanko/Crimson Dynamo appeared as a member of Loki's Masters of Evil.[26] He was first seen teamed with the Titanium Man as a defender of Russia. When Iron Man and Rebel O'Reilly traveled over Russian airspace to get to Hydra's headquarters, the two briefly battled both the Dynamo and Titanium Man. Iron Man would easily defeat them in combat with the superior technology within his Prometheum Armor.[issue # needed]

Later, the Crimson Dynamo and Titanium Man would be hired by the Black Knight to join the Masters of Evil.[26]

Marvel Zombies

The Crimson Dynamo was killed and devoured by his zombified enemy, Iron Man, in Marvel Zombies 2.[issue # needed]

Civil War: House of M

In the House of M, the Yuri Petrovich version of the Crimson Dynamo was a member of the Soviet Super-Soldiers.[27]

Ultimate Crimson Dynamo

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, there are two versions of the Crimson Dynamo.

The Ultimates featured Alex Su as a Chinese Dynamo as a member of The Liberators. Based on similar technology to Tony Stark's Iron-Tech he is unable to exit his armor, having been fused inside, but can supposedly use it to control up to 50 giant-sized drone versions (which are revealed to be piloted independently). He is apparently killed when Stark vaporizes him while piloting the massive Iron Man Six aircraft.[28]

Major Valentin Shatalov appears in Ultimate Fantastic Four #47. He is based in a shack in Siberia, and has apparently been out of contact with his superiors for a long time, becoming entirely self-sufficient. When he is given the order to activate his armor he has forgotten correct procedure, and his contact was not even sure he was still alive. Reed Richards reports that this Crimson Dynamo is an "Eastern Bloc version of Iron Man", making the latest Ultimate version extremely similar to the original character. He has joined forces with the Fantastic Four to defeat the Red Ghost.[29]

In other media


  • Crimson Dynamo appears in the Iron Man portion of The Marvel Super Heroes. The episode he appears in was based on his first comic book appearance, with some of the stills actual panels from the comic book.[citation needed]
  • Crimson Dynamo appeared in the Iron Man animated series episodes "Not Far From the Tree" (voiced by William Hootkins) and "The Armor Wars (Part 1)" (voiced by Stu Rosen). Although he wore Valentin Shatalov's Crimson Dynamo armor, it's possible that the person is Yuri Petrovitch.
  • Crimson Dynamo appears in the animates series Iron Man: Armored Adventures.[30] The armor initially appears in the episode "Iron Man vs. the Crimson Dynamo" piloted by Ivan Vanko (voiced by Mark Oliver) working for Project Pegasus. It appears again in the episode "Seeing Red", this time piloted by O'Brian (voiced by Brian Drummond), Obadiah Stane's head of security. In the episode "Enter: Iron Monger", a few (presumably remotely controlled) copies of the suit are destroyed by the Iron Monger Mech.
  • Valentin Shatalov's Crimson Dynamo appears in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Tales of Suspense" voiced by Jess Harnell.
  • Anton Vanko's Crimson Dynamo appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes voiced by Chris Cox.[31] This version is a member of the Masters of Evil.


  • Mickey Rourke portrays Whiplash's character incorporated with some of Crimson Dynamo's elements in Iron Man 2.[32] He is the son of Anton Vanko (portrayed by Yevgeni Lazarev), a Russian physicist who partnered with Howard Stark in the 60's on the prototype of the Arc Reactor. However, the elder Vanko was deported back to the Soviet Union by Stark after stealing patents and selling them on the Black Market. Boris Turgenov's name also appears as the younger Vanko's alias provided by the Ten Rings to infiltrate Monaco to kill Tony Stark.[33]

Video games


  • Crimson Dynamo is mentioned in the song Magneto and Titanium Man by Paul McCartney and Wings. The song also references Titanium Man, another Iron Man villain.


  • Crimson Dynamo is the 122nd figurine in The Classic Marvel Figurine Collection.
  • Crimson Dynamo was released in Hasbro's 3.75" Iron Man: Armored Adventures figure line based on the animated series of the same name.
  • Crimson Dynamo was released in the Iron Man Face Off 4-pack from the Marvel Super Hero Squad line, packaged with figures of Iron Man, War Machine, and Titanium Man. The same figure was released in the Crimson Dynamo Attacks 4-pack, packaged with 2 figures of Iron Man and one of War Machine. A second figure of Dynamo was released in the Armor Wars: Part II 3-pack, packaged with Iron Man and Titanium Man.
  • A figure of Crimson Dynamo was released in wave 36 of the Marvel Minimates line.
  • A figure of Crimson Dynamo was released in wave 1 of Hasbro's 3.75" Iron Man 2 movie tie-in line.
  • A figure of Crimson Dynamo will be released in wave 2 of Hasbro's 6" Iron Man: The Armored Avenger Legends Series line.


  1. Tales of Suspense #46
  2. Tales of Suspense #52
  3. Iron Man volume 1 #15
  4. Iron Man #21
  5. Iron Man #22
  6. Avengers #130
  7. Iron Man #73
  8. According to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  9. Champions #8-10
  10. Behind the scenes between Secret Wars II #7 and X-Factor Annual #1.
  11. Iron Man #255
  12. Iron Man #316
  13. Iron Man #317
  14. Captain America vol. 3 #42
  15. Crimson Dynamo #1-6
  16. Secret War #3
  17. Iron Man vol. 4 #7
  18. The Order #2
  19. Hulk #1
  20. Invincible Iron Man #35
  21. Hulk #14
  22. Hulk: Winter Guard #0
  23. Hulk: Winter Guard 1 (December 2009), Marvel Comics
  24. Darkstar & The Winter Guard #1
  25. Invincible Iron Man #513
  26. 26.0 26.1 Iron Man Vol. 2 #10
  27. Civil War: House of M #2
  28. Ultimates 2 #6-13
  29. Ultimate Fantastic Four #47
  30. Comics Continuum
  31. http://marvel.toonzone.net/avengersemh/comics/aemh02prev01.jpg
  32. Michael Fleming, Marc Graser (2009-03-11). "Mickey Rourke set for 'Iron Man 2'". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118001114.html. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  33. http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/Poniverse/news/?a=18161

External links