CRIMSON DYNAMO

Real Name: Anton Vanko

Identity/Class: Human technology user;
   citizen of U.S.S.R.; departed to the U.S.;
    possibly active circa 1952 and the rest of the decade, and then presumably from 1960 forward into the early modern time period (see comments)

Occupation: Scientist

Group Membership: None

Legal status: No criminal record

Place of birth: Unrevealed location in Armenia

Marital status: Unrevealed

Education: Ph.D in physics

Affiliations: Iron Man (Tony Stark), Alex Nevsky, Unicorn (Milos Masaryk);
    possibly Shareen, Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, Igor of the KGB;
    possible forced servant of Hydra

Enemies: Black Widow (Natasha Romanova), Boris Turgenov;
    possibly Hydra, Xanth

Known Relatives: Arthur Vanko (nephew)

Aliases: "Krashni Denamit" (believed to be a Russian translation of "Crimson Dynamo")

Base of Operations: Stark Industries plant, Long Island, New York
    formerly a facility in Tomsk, Russia;
    possibly formerly a Siiberian facility under Hydra control;
    formerly Moscow State University;

First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#46 (October, 1963)

Powers/Abilities: The Crimson Dynamo armor granted Vanko superhuman strength and durability. It could generate massive electrical charges which could destroy electrical devices.

    Other inventions of Vanko's include the jet paralyzer, a gun which generated artificial magnetic fibers to snare a target in mid-air; the Dynamo Sputnik; a laser light pistol; and the Unicorn's power-horn weapon.

Height: 5'8" (Dynamo Mark I) 5' 11"
Weight: 165 lbs. (Dynamo Mark I) 230 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Bald (black moustache)

History:


(Crimson Dynamo#5 (fb)) - Anton Vanko's work on low-loss electrical capacitors won him the assignment to work on the Krasnii Denamit project in Tomsk. The armor was already designed when he took over, but he went to work on designing the exoskeleton, and developed a satellite with a solar array to power the suit. He was assigned Alex Nevsky to assist him, but realized that Nevsky was KGB, and so shared as little with him as possible.

Under Nevsky's nose, Vanko began work on a Mark II armor that would solve many of the first suit's problems.

(Tales of Suspense I#56 (fb)) - Vanko also worked on the power-horn weapon for the Unicorn, which contained even more powerful weapons than those in the Crimson Dynamo armor. He wore the Crimson Dynamo armor to the demonstration of the Unicorn's powers.

(Iron Man I#22 (fb)) - Nevsky and Vanko tested the Crimson Dynamo armor, and proved that it could resist the power of Iron Man's repulsor rays. It was now ready for a demonstration.

(Tales of Suspense I#46) - Vanko was finally visited by his country's leader, who demanded to see a demonstration of his work. Vanko donned the Crimson Dynamo armor and destroyed a robot of Iron Man and a remote-controlled tank as demonstrations of the armor's powers. Fearing his power, the leader ordered him to journey to the United States and destroy Iron Man. Vanko was eager to test his armor's abilities in real combat.

(Crimson Dynamo#5 (fb)) - Before departing, Vanko sent the Mark II armor to Arsenal Tomska to lie in storage until he could complete it.

(Crimson Dynamo#4 (fb) - BTS) - On his last weekend in Russia, Vanko sent a package containing the Mark II's helmet into storage. He paid the janitor twenty dollars to keep it quiet.

(Tales of Suspense I#46) - In the United States, Vanko caused a Stark Industries missile to fly off course so that Iron Man would intervene. In the days that followed he committed numerous other acts of sabotage at Stark Industries plants. Finally he went after Stark's own research center, and came face-to-face with Iron Man. Iron Man was able to resist the Crimson Dynamo's electrical powers with his force field. Iron Man utlimately provided the Crimson Dynamo with a recording supposedly from his leader in which he planned to have him killed. Furious, Vanko gave up his mission. Iron Man then asked him to defect to the U.S. and go to work for Tony Stark. Vanko agreed.

(Crimson Dynamo#6 (fb) - BTS) - While he was at Stark Industries, Vanko finished the gauntlets needed to correct the excess energies in the Mark II armor.

(Tales of Suspense I#52) - Vanko worked on a laser light weapon project at Stark Industries, wearing his armor for protection. He was nearly struck down while working in the lab, but Tony Stark came to his rescue, and suggested he add more lead to his armor for protection. The Russians sent their agents Boris Turgenov and the Black Widow after Vanko, and Boris captured Vanko and donned the Crimson Dynamo armor to ruin Vanko's reputation. Iron Man set Vanko free, but was nearly brought down by Turgenov in combat. To save Iron Man, Vanko used his still-dangerous laser light weapon. The blast from the laser destroyed the Crimson Dynamo armor with a powerful explosion, killing both Vanko and Turgenov.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein and Don Heck.

    The leader seen in Tales of Suspense I#46 was Nikita Khrushchev, head of the Soviet Union from 1953-64. This is obviously a topical reference.

    The flashbacks in Crimson Dynamo#5 are also full of topical references, as the Crimson Dynamo is said to have originally been a concept of Krushchev's in 1963; Vanko is said to have been given the assignment by Mikhail Suslov (aide to Leonid Brezhnev, who served from 1964-82), and later served under Yuri Andropov (1982-84) and Konstantin Chernenko (1984), among many other such references.

    On top of that, the Crimson Dynamo#5 flashbacks suggest that Tony Stark wasn't Iron Man when he met Vanko, and that Vanko helped inspire the first suit of Iron Man armor. So take it all with a grain of salt...

    At any rate, John Jackson Miller set up a timeline for Vanko taking about three years to complete the Crimson Dynamo armor, and set his first confrontation with Stark 20 years before the Crimson Dynamo series. Which also can't be right.

    Anton's son Arthur first appeared in Thunderbolts III#9 (July, 2013) and he was heavily involved in creating an army of Crimson Dynamos.

    Operation: S.I.N.

    Operation: S.I.N. (2015) introduced a whole new wrinkle on Anton Vanko's timeline with him being active and adult in 1952.
    Tying normal characters to specific dates is problematic because of the sliding timescale that keeps the main characters from aging beyond the point of their maximum interest/marketability.
    With Vanko becoming the Crimson Dynamo and encountering Tony Stark in 1963 (the time of publication of his first encounter with Iron Man/Tony Stark), having him encounter Howard Stark about a decade earlier would be no problem. However, with the sliding timescale stretching things out, Tony Stark became Iron Man about 15 years ago, regardless of the real time year. At the time I type this information in 2024, that would mean Tony became Iron Man in 2009...and then having that time slide forward each year.
    So, to have Anton Vanko appear to be around 30-years-old in 1952, he would be in his late 80's at the time he first encountered Iron Man, with his age reaching 90 for that encounter in the real world year 2027. Fifty- or sixty-years-old is certainly believable, but 80-90? No, not without some factor enhancing him so that he aged more slowly than normal.
    Perhaps Shareen/Firefrost was that factor? Maybe her energies bolstered his metabolism/etc. and retarded his aging process.
    Or, perhaps the character in this story was the father of the Anton Vanko seen in Tales of Suspense I#46? That would work, and the sliding timescale would not be problematic for a few decades, at least...
    Regardless, for the reasons discussed above, I'm posting the summary of this story in the comments, rather than the history (Tania Belinsky's involvement is discussed in her own profile):

crimsondynamovanko-os3-full(Operation: S.I.N. #1-5 (fb) - BTS) <Over a month prior to the main story> - Shareen (formerly alao known as Firefrost), an alternate future (Reality-81049) Moensian alien escaped exile within a black hole -- partially to escape her former lover Xanth, now the powerful and maddened Ebon Seeker -- and had traveled decades into the past from when she had previously traveled to Earth (in the modern era). Her ship's arrival in the Russian countryside was obseved by at least one man, who reported it to others.

(Operation: S.I.N. #3 (fb) - BTS) <1952 A.D.> - Consdered a criminal by his own government, Soviet scientist Anton Vanko was turned over into custody of Hydra forces for unspecified payments. He was accompanied by the human-formed Shareen (whose true nature was unknown to others).

    The Hydra agents instructed Vanko and the others to identify the source of a mysterious energy they had detected (the first of which was Shareen's escape from the black hole, and a second energy release apparently being Xanth's efforts to locate her).

(Operation: S.I.N. #4 (fb) - BTS) - Shareen worked with Vanko and the others, helping their efforts just enough so that she could stay with Anton: Helping just enough to keep him close to the solution but never quite getting there.

(Operation: S.I.N. #3) - While on a forced trek outside their Hydra lab in a remote region of Siberia, Vanko lost a boot, but the armed guards ordered him to keep moving. Shareen encouraged Anton that they could get him some other wrapping and that they should focus on getting to where they were going, getting inside, and getting to work. Shareen told Anton that he was starting to look like his own grandfather and should eat more, but Anton countered that they were being offered bread made with sawdust and that the water tasted like animal piss. When he noted that he had never seen her eat, she further told him that she needed very little, although some water, and some sun would be a blessing. When Anton warned her against feeding the rat, but she assured Anton that she was fattening it up so he could soon wear it as a boot with minimal modification. 

    When Kalyakov collapsed, one of the Hydra agents, kicked him, telling him to get up or stay down forever. Disgusted with these savages, Anton offered to carry Kalyakov and argued that the man was one of their best engineers and that they needed him to get the process running again that day. Disregarding this, the guard told Vanko that, like his boot, if something was so important to him he should learn to look after it, and now he would have to learn to do without: The guard then fatally shot Kalyakov. Shareen led Anton away to try to keep him out of trouble, although he did tell the guard that he was a cancer to his people. At gunpoint, the guard instructed Vanko to get inside the base and make some science, which he and Shareen did.

    One of the Hydra agents told the scientists and workers that they had registered another burst of energy and that they were unwilling to wait any longer for them to perfect their approach to learning its source. When the Hydra agent complained of delays and reminded them that Hydra had paid handsomely for their services, Vanko jokingly told Shareen that he had not seen a ruple and noted that perhaps it was being invested for them. crimsondynamovanko-os3-controlpan

(Operation: S.I.N. #3 - BTS) - Meanwhile, Howard Stark -- aided by Peggy Carter, Woodrow McCord, Tania Belinskaya and Mikhail Uriokovitch and having traveled to the USSR to investigate reports of an alien ship-- had a beacon from Shareen's spaceship placed within the ship. Stark subsequently activated the ship, which was pulled on a course toward Shareen.

(Operation: S.I.N. #4 (fb) - BTS) - The activation of her ship allowed Xanth to locate Shareen. 

(Operation: S.I.N. #3) - Anton was concerned about Shareen, who seemed to be having a bout of weakness, and he told her to lean on the consoles while he finished the calculations so that their overlords could target their energy source and they could live their lives again. After Shareen told him he could not do that, Anton asked why she had discouraged him from helping Kalyakov and if she would give up on him so quickly.

    When the portal in the Hydra base subsequently activated, the Hydra agents instructed the scientists to find the source immediately, and Vanko worked to isolate the energy source, but Shareen told him to stop and fired a blast from her hands. As she began glowing, the Hydra agents aimed their guns at her.

(Operation: S.I.N. #4) - As the Hydra agents denounced Shareen as a traitor, Vanko noted the mass of negative energy forming in the well and if he could not stop it, they were going to die. However, he soon determined that it was not just energy and that it gaining mass and that it was pushing and pulling in every direction at once, preventing him from shutting down. As Xanth's form began to emerge, Vanko exclaimed, "Bozhe Moi!"

    As Howard Stark approached, Vanko struggled to prevent Xanth from stepping through the portal, noting that he did not need to prove the Schwarzschild metric that day. He and Stark introduced themselves, and they worked together to try to close the portal. crimsondynamovanko-os5-face

    After Shareen called out to the emerging creature as her love, Anton asked what she was, and she vaguely explained her history and relationship to Xanth. She subsequently apologized and considered that in her efforts to prevent them from discovering the energy source she may have underestimated Anton's intelligence. Vanko subsequently noted that the energy output was immense but stable, and it was like Xanth was trapped in a revolving door, unsure of which way it was going to turn. Shareen told him that Xanth's pursuit would only stop when she returned to him.

(Operation: S.I.N. #5) - When Shareen resolved to return to Xanth to end the threat, Vanko and the others insisted that she would not. Stark convinced her to help him and Vanko. 

    Taking Vanko's hand, Shareen told him that she did not want to leave him specifically, at which point Stark objected, not willing to allow the Soviets to maintain access to advanced alien technology. Vanko and Stark argued over ideology and motives until Peggy redirected them to the problem at hand.

    As Soviet forces -- seeking to sever ties with Hydra -- assaulted the base, Stark delivered the ship's power sphere to Vanko, who worked to isolate the portal's focal point, and Shareen placed her energies she later noted to be "her heart" into the sphere and then confirmed that it was ready. As Ebon Seekers' hand reached through the portal, Anton delivered the power sphere to it, and Shareen told him, "You have found me." Apparently accepting this as Shareen, Ebon Seeker's hand retracted, and the portal reversed. 

    The Soviet forces, led by Igor of the KGB, then confronted the group, and the vastly outnumbered Carter, McCord, and Stark reluctantly stood down. crimsondynamovanko-os5-russlab

    Shareen joined Vanko when he noted that they were ready to return to the arms of Mother Russia's best laboratories.

(Operation: S.I.N. #5 - BTS) - After clearing the base, the allegedly Russians "sterilized" the base (presumably destroying it).

(Operation: S.I.N. #5) - Shareen subsequently worked alongside Vanko in a Soviet laboratory.

(Operation: S.I.N. #5 - BTS) - Back in the USA, using what looked like the power sphere from Shareen's ship, Howard initiated Stark Industries Nuclear.


    Vanko has partial entries in OHotMU I#3, Deluxe Edition#3, Master Edition, Marvel Legacy: 1960s Handbook and the All-New OHotMU Update#2.

Profile by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
Anton Vanko should not be confused with:


DYNAMO SPUTNIK

The Dynamo Sputnik is a satellite with a solar array designed to power the Mark I and Mark II suits of Crimson Dynamo armor.

--Crimson Dynamo#5 (fb)














Images taken from:
Marvel Legacy: the 1960s Handbook, Crimson Dynamo entry
Crimson Dynamo#5, page 10, panel 3 (not counting ads)
Sputnik- Crimson Dynamo#5, page 11, panel 1 (not counting ads)
Operation: S.I.N. #3, pg. 7, panel 1 (1952 Anton Vanko; full);
       pg. 19, panel 1 (behind control panel)
    #5, pg. 5, panel 4 (face);
       pg. 18, panel 4 (with Shareen in Russian lab)


Appearances:
Tales of Suspense I#46 (October, 1963) - Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein (writers), Don Heck (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Tales of Suspense I#52 (April, 1964) - Stan Lee, Don Rico (writers), Don Heck (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Tales of Suspense I#56 (August, 1964) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Don Heck (artist)
Iron Man I#22 (February, 1970) - Archie Goodwin (writer), George Tuska (penciler), Joe Gaudioso (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Crimson Dynamo#5 (March, 2004) - John Jackson Miller (writer), Joe Corroney (artist), Thomas Mason (inker), Stephanie Moore (editor)
Operation: S.I.N. #1-5 (March-July, 2015) - Kathryn Immonen (writer), Rich Ellis (artist), Joe Moisan (editor)

First Posted: 10/05/2005
Last updated: 04/10/2024

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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