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Known Members: Issa Koblev, Ilya Koblev, Ioakim Koblev

Identity/Class: Human mutants, citizens of Russia

Occupation: Enforcers

Affiliations: Yi Yang (mistress);
    former student under Professor Phobos at the Super-Soldier School;
    possibly trained alongside Darkstar, Ursa Major, and Vanguard, and other former students of Phobos;
(Ilya & Ioakim only): Remont Six (Iron Maiden/Melina Vostokovna, Titanium Man/Boris Bullski, Unicorn/Yegor Balinov, Volga)

Enemies: Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff), Night Raven, Ivan Petrovich;
(Ilya & Ioakim only): Winter Guard (Crimson Dynamo/Nemirovsky, Darkstar/Roerich, Red Guardian/Anton, Ursa Major)

Known Relatives: The Snow Leopards are brothers

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mantlov Facility, Russia
                                  formerly Yi Yang's Siberian refuge (Xanadu), and its predecessor the Super-Soldier School;
                                  formerly the Siberian wilderness

First Appearance: Fury/Black Widow: Death Duty (February, 1995)

Powers/Abilities: The Snow Leopards had the standard feral cat-man powers: superhuman strength (enhanced human to Class 5), speed, endurance, agility, olfactory (smelling) senses, night vision, razor-sharp claws, etc. They were utterly devoted to Yi Yang.
    Issa Koblev demonstrated normal human intellect and speech, while his two brethren did nothing but snarl. It is unknown if they simply lacked his education, or if there was more to it.

Eyes: White
Hair: Leopard-like fur


(Fury/Black Widow: Death Duty (fb) - BTS) - Issa Koblev and his two brothers were apparently born with their mutant abilities and appearance. They were either abandoned by their real parents, or taken from them by the Russian government. They became a wards of the state and were sent to the Super-Soldier School, where they were trained under Professor Piotr Phobos. When the Project was shut down, they and many of Phobos' students were left behind to rot in the middle of the frozen wastelands of Siberia.

(Fury/Black Widow: Death Duty (fb) - BTS) - The Snow Leopards went out on their own, living in the frozen wilderness, among the wild animals. Eventually they were discovered by Yi Yang, who took them in. She became Issa's teacher, and his lover. He became enthralled by her. They made Phobos' forgotten citadel their own, renaming it Xanadu. However, Yi Yang's old nemesis, the Night Raven, eventually located her in Russia, and began to interfere with her plans anew.

(Fury/Black Widow: Death Duty) - The Night Raven continued to trackdown Yi Yang, working alongside the Black Widow. Yi Yang dispatched the Snow Leopard (Issa) to engage them. He captured the Black Widow's friend and ally, Ivan Petrovitch, in order to draw the two to him. As they battled, the Night Raven briefly gained the advantage over the Snow Leopard, at which point Yi Yang blew up the entire warehouse, in an effort to destroy her eternal foe. Her enemies escaped the explosion, but the Snow Leopard was apparently killed.

When the Black Widow and Night Raven made it to Xanadu, Yi Yang revealed the existence of two more Snow Leopards. These two attacked the heroes, and one nearly decapitated the Night Raven, but both ended up getting tossed into this raw energy power core (made from the energies siphoned from mutants by Phobos).

(House of M#8 - BTS) - Ilya and Ioakim were among the handful of mutants who retained their powers after the Scarlet Witch cast a reality altering spell to shut off the mutant gene. In the aftermath, there were only about 300 active mutants worldwide.

(Hulk: Winter Guard#1) - Ilya and Ioakim joined the Soviet Revolutionaries Remont Six. Under Iron Maiden's leadership they attacked an AIM base outside the Forbidden Zone. They attacked Ursa Major alongside Volga, but their combined powers were not enough to overpower him. Their fate after the Winter Guard's Darkstar mutated into a gamma-iradiated monster that consumed anything in the area is unrevealed.

(Darkstar & the Winter Guard#2 - BTS) - The Snow Leopards were taken into custody and are now contained in the Mantlov Facility.

Comments: Created by Cefn Ridout (writer), Charlie Adlard (artist).

A lot of assumptions are made in the history. Ilsa's brethren may not have been trained under Phobos. They were only seen alongside Yi Yang after Ilsa's death, when she stated Issa Koblev was not an only child.Given the limited glimpse, and the behavior of his brethren, it is entirely possible that they were creations of Yi Yang, mutated based on testing of Issa--meaning that her comment was more metaphorical. That's how I originally took it, but now I'm not sure. Anyway, I'd consider Issa as the Snow Leopard, but either the last two, or all three could be the Snow Leopards.

The name Xanadu is an actual place on Mongolia used in the poem by Cole, "Kubla Khan". Marvel all take the name from there. ---John McDonagh

Snow Leopard in Russian is Bars. --Gammatotem

David Gallaher (writer of the Winter Guard series) himself informed us about the Snow Leopards' fate after Hulk: Winter Guard. (it was only hinted at in Darkstar & the Winter Guard#2)

Profile by Snood

the Snow Leopards have no known connections to

Xanadu, Yi Yang's base, should be distinguished from

images: (without ads)
Fury/Black Widow: Death Duty, p42, pan1 (main image)
Fury/Black Widow: Death Duty, p53, pan3 (attacking Night Raven)
Hulk: Winter Guard#1, p38, pan6 (with the Remont Six)

Fury/Black Widow: Death Duty (February, 1995) - Cefn Ridout (writer), Charlie Adlard (artist), Richard Ashford (editor)
Hulk: Winter Guard#1 (February, 2010) - David Gallaher (writer), Steve Ellis (artist), Jordan D. White (editor)
Darkstar & the Winter Guard#2 (September, 2010) - David Gallaher (writer), Steve Ellis (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Jordan D. White (editor)

First Posted: 03/17/2002
Last updated: 11/06/2015

Any Additions/Corrections? please let us know.

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