COMMISSAR

Real Name: Alexi or Alexei Bruskin

Identity/Class: Human;
    Russian citizen

Occupation: Former Russian commissar and chief of the KGB

Group Membership: Formerly the KGB

Affiliations: Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff), Boris; very loosely allied with the rest of the Champions (Angel (Warren Worthington III), Ghost Rider (John Blaze/Zarathos), Hercules (Heracles), Iceman (Bobby Drake)), and Ivan Petrovich Bezukov
    formerly Black Widow,
Brackett, Darkstar, Medvedev, Yuri Petrovich

EnemiesCaptain Andreyivich, Brackett, Crimson Dynamo (Yuri Petrovich), Darkstar, Griffin, Medvedev, Rampage (by association), Titanium Man (Boris Bullski)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Home Perch, "The Man who created the Black Widow"

Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
    formerly Moscow, Russia

First Appearance: Champions#7 (August, 1976)

Powers/Abilities: Bruskin was experienced in combat, especially with firearms and explosives.

History:
(Champions#7 (fb) - BTS) - Bruskin was once one of Russia's highest-ranked intelligence chiefs.

(Champions#7 (fb) - BTS) - Bruskin was the teacher of the Black Widow, training her in field exercises, espionage, etc. He saw her as a rare beauty and nick-named her "Black Pearl."

Champions#10 (fb) - BTS) - Bruskin sent Brackett and Medvedev, posing as American agents to offer Ivan to come work for them. Ivan refused and then sent his wife and little Yuri away for a time to protect them from retribution for his refusal. However, before they could reach the mountains, they were ambushed by Brackett and Medvedev. His mother was killed, and Yuri was taken away by the men, while Ivan was told that both had been killed.

(Champions#10 (fb)) - Yuri was held in Western Berlin for nine years, where the "American agents" trained and educated him, brainwashing him to work against the state. Bruskin engineered the whole thing under orders from his superiors to make Yuri a blindly loyal agent of Russia who hated America.

(Champions#10 (fb)) - Maintaining his loyalty to Russia, Yuri used a jury-rigged radio, using the name "Caged Bird" to communicate with "Home Perch" (Alexi Bruskin) and request rescue.

(Champions#10 (fb)) - Bruskin and his agent Boris rescued Yuri, killing his captors and bringing Yuri back to Russia. Upon returning home and learning that his father had defected, Yuri believed that his father had allowed him and his mother to be killed to sever his ties to his family and to Russia.

(Champions#9 (fb) - BTS) - Bruskin was the teacher of Darkstar, training her in gymnastics and in physical combat.

(Champions#10 (fb) - BTS) - Bruskin eventually could no longer stand his work in the KGB, and he defected.

(Champions#8 (fb) - BTS) <Nineteen years after Yuri was separated from his father> - As the Crimson Dynamo, Petrovich was assigned to capture "three embarrassing defectors"--his father ("Ivan Petrovich"), the Black Widow, and Alexi Bruskin--and return them to Russia. He recruited his lover, Darkstar, and the Titanium Man, as well as the American mercenary the Griffin. He also contacted and made plans with Stuart Clarke (Rampage).

(Champions#7 (fb) - BTS / 8 (fb) - BTS) - Learning of Petrovich's plans, Bruskin sought out the Widow to form an alliance. To draw the Widow's attention, Bruskin launched a projectile into the temporary headquarters of the Champions.

(Champions#7) - After the device crashed through the window and flew around for awhile, Hercules and Iceman stopped it, and it was given to Ivan to analyze to find out who had sent it (which is what Bruskin wanted). Within the device, Ivan found a black pearl, and both Ivan and Natasha instantly recognized this as Bruskin's calling card. Bruskin then spoke to them through the device, revealing himself to be on the roof across the street and inviting the Widow to join him. After she arrived, Bruskin came up from behind and put a gun to her head, but she easily disarmed him, as planned. They then greeted each other as old friends, but before Bruskin could explain himself, he was struck down by the Titanium Man.

(Champions#8 (fb) - BTS) - The Black Widow and Brushkin were captured by the Titanium Man and brought back to Yuri Petrovich.

(Champions#8) - Bruskin remained unconscious as Yuri and his allies argued over when they would attack the Champions to capture Ivan. However, Ivan knew that Bruskin always carried a black pearl that contained a tracking device, and so he had Iceman transport him across town to follow the signal.

(Champions#9) - Ivan and the Iceman located the building in which Bruskin and the Widow were being held just as Petrovich (as the Crimson Dynamo), the Titanium Man, and the Griffin returned. Iceman quickly fell before them, but Ivan made it inside. Meanwhile, the Widow and Bruskin had freed themselves, but pretended to still be bound until Darkstar came to check on them, at which point they ambushed her. Darkstar struck back at Bruskin, stunning him, and then Ivan broke into the room to help them. Ivan and the Widow took down Darkstar, and Bruskin rushed to make sure she wasn't badly harmed. However, Petrovich and his allies then arrived.

(Champions#10 (fb) - BTS) - Yuri had the Black Widow, Bruskin, and Ivan placed in restraints aboard their ship while the rest of the Champions were imprisoned within a cell deep within the San Andreas fault.

(Champions#10 (fb)) - Yuri shared his origins with his captives, but was then distracted and left the ship, at which point Bruskin revealed the truth behind Yuri's abduction. When Yuri returned, Ivan tried to tell him the missing information, but Yuri hurled him away. Darkstar freed the Widow and Bruskin so Yuri could be forced to listen, and Yuri blasted Darkstar for her betrayal. Needing more power to force Yuri to listen, Darkstar freed the Champions from their prison.
    Yuri grabbed the Widow, but not before she could blast their ship's controls and send it into a dive. Yuri and his flighted allies flew the others (Griffin carried Bruskin) to a nearby Russian sub led by Captain Andreyivich, where they were confronted by the Champions. Bruskin grabbed a Russian soldier's gun and fired on Yuri, trying to force him to release his hostage, the Widow. The effort was successful, but Yuri turned on Bruskin, striking him with a blast intended to be fatal. Knowing that Yuri had slain Bruskin without knowing him to be the one responsible for his mother's death and his imprisonment, Darkstar saw Yuri as a cold-blooded murderer, and she turned her Darkforce power on him.
    Bruskin survived the blast and grabbed some grenades from a Russian sailor, despite Andreyivich's commands for him to stop. Forced to defend his ship, Andreyivich shot Bruskin in the back, and he fell to the ground, setting off a grenade inside the ship before dying.

 

 

Comments: Created by Tony Isabella, George Tuska, and Vince Colletta, but most of story told by Bill Mantlo, Bob Hall, and B. Patterson.

    An on-line dictionary defines Commissar as: Communist Party official in charge of indoctrination and enforcement of party loyalty.

    I don't know how Bruskin would be tied into the ret-conned Red Room business or what.
    Ditto for Professor Phobos and Darkstar.
    I'd guess as chief of the KGB, Bruskin had free access to either of these programs, and he served to train certain agents in combat and espionage.

References to the USSR and the Berlin Wall = Topical.

In the Daredevil Index, Olshevsky stated that the Commissar could have been the same as seen in Daredevil#88's flashback to the Black Widow's youth.
--John McDonagh

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connection to:


Brackett & Medvedev

   A pair of Russian agents (possibly KGB), they served under Bruskin, posing as American agents, making an offer to Ivan Petrovich, killing his wife, and abducting Yuri. They brought him to Western Germany, where they trained him for ten years. Pretending to be rescuing Yuri, Bruskin and Boris slew Brackett and Medvedev and then brought Yuri back to Russia, where--as planned--he became  a blindly loyal agent of Russia who hated America.

    It's possible that Bruskin only pretended to kill these two, but it seems more likely that he would sacrifice them for his cause, as well as because he wouldn't want many people around who knew the truth about Yuri.

Medvedev is the bald one.

--Champions#10 (10(fb)

 

 

 


Boris

 

    A Russian agent (possibly KGB), he joined Bruskin in the mission to kill Brackett and Medvedev and "rescue" Yuri. Bruskin left him to "clean up this den of thieves" while he brought Yuri back to Russia.

 

Boris could easily be Boris Turgenov, a previous Crimson Dynamo who was also a KGB agent, but that's pure speculation, and Boris is a common Russian name (in American stories anyway).

If not Turgenov, then it would seem likely that Bruskin would have killed this guy, too, for the latter reason listed above.

--Champions#10 (10(fb)

 


images:
Champions#7, p4, panel 1
    #10, p7, panel 5 (Brackett & Medvedev)
        p12, panel 3 (Medvedev)
            panel 6 (Boris)


Champions#7 (August, 1976) - Tony Isabella (writer), George Tuska (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Champions#8-9 (October-December 1976) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), Bruce Patterson (#8) & Bob Layton (#9) (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Champions#10 (January, 1977) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), Frank Giacoia (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)


Last updated: 10/06/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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