Sunday, May 8, 2011

Why Omega Red?

Omega Red (aka Arkady Rossovich) has always held a place in my heart, in that he was my first-ever comicbook villain. Back in the early ‘90s, my first and only comic was X-Men #4, which featured Omega Red as the lead antagonist. I’ve since learned that this was in fact his first ever appearance, so if you think about it, Arkady and I joined the world of comics together.

He was quite the villain too: He has a Healing Factor to rival Wolverine’s, only Red's needs to be recharged from time to time by draining the life-force from others, and is therefore referred to as his “Death Factor”. He is also able to secrete pheromones that are deadly to anyone in his immediate vicinity, and has long Carbonadium tentacles that he can extend and retract through openings in the undersides of his wrists (both the pheromones and tentacles act as conduits for his Death Factor). Basically, he’s just a serious bad-ass!

I believe that Omega Red is a sorely under-rated character, and if he could only break free of living in Wolverine's shadow, would be able to move on to bigger and better things.


  1. Omega Red – Son of the State - MK Stangeland Jr.

    This is meant to be part of what would be a re-telling of Omega Red’s origin story – a ‘year one’ type deal, to put it in terms I can best summarize.

    Scene is set in a laboratory inside a secret soviet-area science facility. It’s the kind of room that has one of those operating tables you strap people to before you inject them with a secret super test formula, as well an elevated observation area.

    Panel 1: The observation area, where DR. CHARKOV (new character) watches with evil glee as his test subject displays his new abilities with astounding ruthlessness. There are three other scientists with him, one of which is reacting in horror at what he is seeing, one of which is confused that DR. CHARKOV isn’t concerned about it and desiring to see ARKADY GREGORIVICH stopped, and the third is un-phased by the situation, instead writing something down on his clipboard. Also present is a KBG agent, AGENT GULAG (new character), who isn’t showing much indication as to his feelings on the situation one way or the other.

    DR. CHARKOV: Look at him…isn’t he magnificent?

    DR. CHARKOV (2): I suppose this means I owe you an apology, Agent Gulag. It seems he was the right test subject after all.

    Panel 2: Close up on the side of DR. CHARKOV’s face as he grins with a sinister level of glee.

    DR. CHARKOV: Just look him.

    Panel 3: Panel returns to the laboratory itself. A dead scientist, his life having been drained away by GREGORIVICH, drops to the ground as he is released. GREGORIVICH turns to look behind him as he hears the door to the laboratory open. Near the far wall, a female scientist can be seen peeking out from behind a piece of equipment she’s attempted to hide behind as she looks on in terror.

    DR. CHARKOV: (Caption) Such ruthlessness.

    Panel 4: The door to the lab begins to open. The first scientist GREGORIVICH killed (different from the one in panel 3) can be seen lying on the ground. A scientist who was previously pounding on it to get out moves aside as the doorway opens.

    DR. CHARKOV: (Caption) Such strength.

    Panel 5: As soldiers begin to try to come into the room, GREGORIVICH lashes out with his tentacles to grab the first two around the necks.

    DR. CHARKOV: (Caption) Such speed.

    Panel 6: Panel look down on the lab from the observation area from behind where DR. CHARKOV and AGENT GULAG stand.

    In the laboratory, as GREGORIVICH pulls one of the soldier in and starts to drain away his life, he swings the other soldier around to disorient the rest of his comrades and throw them off.

    DR. CHARKOV: All he requires is the proper training.

    AGENT GULAG: Impressive, indeed. Perhaps we’ve finally found a weapon that can succeed where the Crimson Dynamo initiative has failed.

    (END PAGE)

  2. @MK: Loved it! You've shown exactly why I love this character. He's a psychopath who was given powers he should never have been given. Great job!

  3. This script takes place in current continuity, after Omega Red has been stabbed in the heart with the Muramasa blade by Wolverine.

    For clarity's sake, the two A.I.M. agents who star in the piece will be referred to as EAGER A.I.M. AGENT and CONCERNED A.I.M. AGENT.

    Five rows of panels. Panel 1 can be slightly larger than the rest, to help establish the scene and offer a sense of scale. Panels 2 through 4 can be about the same size. Panel 5 should be smaller and thinner than the rest of the panels. In fact, it should cover part of Panel 4 and should not span the entire page, leaving some black space at the sides and bottom of the panel to make the image pop.

    1 – Interior of an immense, open warehouse. The area is filled – overfilled – with technology. Computers, machines, contraptions, and so forth are strewn as far as the eye can discern. Our panel focuses on two A.I.M. members standing before a large containment pod of sorts. The reader cannot see what is inside the pod.

    CONCERNED A.I.M. AGENT: Are you sure that this was worth all the effort? The resources? The wasted lives?

    EAGER A.I.M. AGENT: There's no such thing as wasted lives. Those men died so that we may become better killers. Murder is becoming an increasingly competitive business, after all.

    2 – Change view to reveal the contents of the containment pod: Omega Red's dead body. It looks rather the worse for wear, showing all the wounds from his stabbing, and then some. The A.I.M. members stand on either side of the pod, giving the reader a good view of all three figures.

    EAGER A.I.M. AGENT (1): And this will ensure that our MurderTech division stays on the cutting edge for years to come.

    EAGER A.I.M. AGENT (2): We will thoroughly probe the remains to ascertain the formulae and augmentations that made Arkady Rossovich into the formidable Omega Red.

    EAGER A.I.M. AGENT (3): With time, we will be able to reverse engineer the process. Improve upon it. Make it our own.

    CONCERNED A.I.M. AGENT: But what about the risks?

    3 – Camera pulls in, moving closer to all three figures. Perhaps cutting off the A.I.M. members at the waist. Omega Red's body remains the focal point of the panel.

    EAGER A.I.M. AGENT (1): There are always risks. But the rewards will be more than worth it.

    EAGER A.I.M. AGENT (2): Our work will redefine the very meaning of “Death by Science”. Things will progress by leaps. Bounds.

    4 – Pan in even closer to Omega Red's containment pod. Neither A.I.M. Agent is visible as Omega Red's upper-body and face take up the entire panel. The word balloons come from off-panel.

    CONCERNED A.I.M. AGENT: If you say so. All I know is that standing this close is starting to make me feel sick.

    EAGER A.I.M. AGENT: pfft! You're just hungry. Come on. I'll assuage the rest of your short-sighted fears over lunch.

    5 – Close-up of Omega Red's eyes. They are open, glowing red, and hella pissed off. No dialogue.

  4. MK - solid work. I like the way you've tied it in to Crimson Dynamo.

    Grant - nice, sinister build. If I had a criticism it's that the AIM agents dialogue seems a little stilted and officious - almost robotic - in the early section and then they suddenly develop character in panel 4. Still, you've worked effectively to give us a possible resurrection scenario given OR's current circumstances.

  5. @Grant: I loved the "standing this close is starting to make me feel sick" line. It was a nice subtle implication that Red's alive. Great work. You guys have made me proud :)


Feedback is what every good writer wants and needs, so please provide it in the white box below
If you want to play along at home, feel free to put your scripts under the Why? post for the week.