Real Name: Yousuf Tov
Occupation: Secret Agent
Group Membership: Shin Bet
Enemies: Red Skull (Johann Shmidt), Hate-Monger (Adolf Hitler clone), Arnim Zola
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mobile
First Appearance: Super-Villain Team-Up#16 (May, 1979)
Powers: Tov possesses no superhuman abilities, but is in top physical shape, and is skilled in marksmanship and hand-to-hand combat.
History: (Super-Villain Team-Up#16 (fb) - BTS) - Yousuf Tov served as an Isreali Shin Bet commando. At one point, he was romantically involved with his partner, Rachel, but she married a different person.
Tov was assigned to hunt down the Red Skull and Hate-Monger as Nazi war criminals. Intelligence had indicated that the Skull and Monger had an immense clandestine project in progress, involving scientists recruited from S.H.I.E.L.D., AIM, and the Soviet bloc. Pursuing his mission, Tov was captured and taken to the Isle of the Exiles. However, instead of being placed into forced labor as happened with Rachel, Tov was pampered by his captors, although he was kept on a short leash -- a neuro-detonator was implanted in his neck as a fail-safe.
(Super-Villain Team-Up#16) - After suffering derision from the other prisoners, who called him a traitor, Tov was shown the purpose of the secret project: the creation of a Cosmic Cube. The Skull, noting that information had to still to be extracted from S.H.I.E.L.D. and AIM., requested that Tov put his skills and security clearances into gaining it. Also, the Skull, realizing that the Cosmic Cube could only be wielded by one person, knew that his alliance with the Hate-Monger had a very temporary and conditional quality to it. He offered Tov the chance to act as his secret trump card, to do away with the Hate-Monger at an opportune time.
Tov refused the Skullís offer, so the Skull gave him a small taste of the pain the neuro-detonator could bring. Later, Tov employed a ruse -- reading the newspaper while under the eye of one of the Skullís guards, Tov keeled over, seemingly in excruciating pain. The guard, who had not activated the neuro-detonator, presumed it had malfunctioned, and not wanting Tov to die before his master had made full use of him, neutralized the device. After the device was neutralized, Tov attacked the guiled guard, as he had only feigned the pain.
Escaping the Skullís mansion, Tov stole a gun from another guard, and went to the slave pens. He shot the lock off of the cage door. However, the other prisoners, assuming Tovís loyalties lay with the Skull and Hate-Monger, refused to join him, assuming his action represented some sort of ruse or trap. Undettered, Tov continued his escape attempt. When one of the Skullís guards shot Tov in the arm, the other prisoners realized the sincerity of Tovís actions, and attacked the Skullís minions. Tov made it to the docks, where he stole a boat.
Hours later, Tov saw a ship flying the U.S. flag. Boarding it, Tov received a rude surprise when he saw the Red Skull and Hate-Monger onboard. In fact, the ship belonged to them, serving as a ruse to help recapture any of their enemies who attempted to escape the Isle of Exiles. Brought back to the Isle, the other prisoners saw Tov as he was led back to incarceration.
(Super-Villain Team-Up#17 (fb)) - Rachel was punished for her part in the escape attempts: the SS lightning bolts were carved into her cheek. Weeks later, however, she managed to strangle a guard with a makeshift rope made from her hair and spittle, managed to steal a boat, was caught in a storm, but washed up alive on shore. She contacted S.H.I.E.L.D.
However, Rachel did not realize that the Hate-Monger had secretely guided her actions through an enslaved psychic named Ali. The Hate-Monger intended to use her as his trump card, to eventually aid him in defeating the Red Skull when the time came, as the Hate-Monger knew only one hand could wield the Cosmic Cube.
(Super-Villain Team-Up#17) - Thanks to an armed raid on an AIM base, the Hate-Monger and Red Skull kidnapped Dr. George Clinton, who had helped create the original Cosmic Cube. Showing Clinton their equipment, they explained that while Clinton had created MODOK (a giant biological computer out of a man) to manipulate the myriad variables needed to create a Cosmic Cube, they had another idea. Namely, they would use normal human brains hooked in series as a biocomputer. Clinton, horrfied, knew that the information overload would burn out these brains. The Skull noted that they had a supply of replacements, showing Clinton a slave pen, which included Tov.
Rachel, meanwhile, had bitterly and fervently contacted S.H.I.E.L.D. to attack the Isle of Exiles, but she did not know exactly what Tov had discovered -- as the Skull, Hate-Monger, and Arnim Zola used a device to extract information from Clintonís mind, they began the process of creating the Cosmic Cube. A S.H.I.E.L.D. strikeforce soon flew for the Isle of Exiles.
When informed of the arrival of the S.H.I.E.L.D. planes, the Skull ordered two specially constructed secondary adamantium hemispheres to be formed into a dome over the island (as well as later ordering decoy doubles of himself and the Hate-Monger to be deployed). However, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents used an Overkill Horn confiscated from Hydra to pierce the dome, and infiltrated the Skullís buildings.
In the ensuing confusion, the Hate-Monger managed to slip away. He had engineered Rachelís escape to produce just such a diversion. Going down to Arnim Zola, who stood outside the locked chamber (which could only be opened by both the Hate-Monger and the Red Skull together) where the creation of the Cosmic Cube process took place. The Hate-Monger revealed his plan -- he intended to use the mind-transferrence techniques that had enabled him to survive the destrucion of his original body at the hands of the original Human Torch (see Young Men#24) to transfer his mind into the matrix of the Cosmic Cube, becoming the Cube itself.
Meanwhile, Rachel destroyed what she thought was the Red Skull (in fact a decoy) and saw Tov had been used for part of the bio-computer, his brain damaged by the process. Still, she carried him away with her before S.H.I.E.L.D.ís final firebombing of the Isle of Exiles.
Later, in a subterranean chamber underneath the Isle, the Red Skull held up the Cosmic Cube. Looking at it, he told of how he had discovered the Hate-Mongerís plan, and had concealed from him that they had not been able to isolate the omni-dimensional x-element that served as the core of the Cubeís power; they had only managed to create the outer shell of a Cosmic Cube, which, once complete, served as an inescapable prison for anything inside. That said, the Skull left the non-functioning Cosmic Cube on his desk -- with the Hate-Mongerís mind trapped inside.
Comments: Created by Peter B. Gillis and Carmine Infantino.
The Shin Bet actually exist.
Super-Villain Team-Up#16 was published in May 1979; Super-Villain Team-Up#17 was not published until June 1980. This may serve as the reason that Carmine Infantino (who just a few years earlier had served as DCís publisher!) did not complete the second part of the story, rather Arvell Jones and Bruce Patterson did.
by Per Degaton
Rachel was Tov's partner in the Shin Bet, and had once been his lover, but had married another man. After being captured by the Red Skull and Hate-Monger, she was placed into the slave pens, while Tov was treated as royalty. For a time, she lost hope in Tov, believing he had truly become a collaborator, but his rescue attempt convinced her otherwise. Guided by the Hate-Monger, Rachel managed to escape the Isle of Exiles, and brought S.H.I.E.L.D. down upon the Isle. She found Tov, and brought him to safety, but with his mind destroyed, it was unclear whether there was anything left of him to salvage
Super-Villain Team-Up#16 (May, 1980) - Peter Gillis (writer), Carmine Infantino (pencils), Bruce Patterson (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Super-Villain Team-Up#17 (June, 1980) - Peter Gillis (writer), Arvell Jones (pencils), Bruce Patterson (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
First Posted: 07/04/2002
Last updated: 08/01/2002
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