5787 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Ivan (Marvel Comics) (Frankenstein enemy)

Ivan the kyphotic giant

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • I’ve called him “the Kyphotic Giant” in the title because, well, he’s a kyphotic giant, and to help distinguish him from other characters called Ivan. Marvel does not refer to him that way and just has him indexed as “Ivan”.


  • Real Name: Unrevealed
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Employee of Vincent Frankenstein
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile
  • Height: 8’10” Weight: About 800 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown

Powers and Abilities

Ivan is a giant with clearly superhuman strength – he is initially stronger than even Frankenstein’s Monster, and in the 1890s could ignore most of the blows of the Monster. However, he proved as vulnerable to bullets as any man. It is likely that Ivan was a mutant.

Vincent Frankenstein made a reference to a ’disease‘ that was ’wracking [Ivan’s] body”. The nature of that disease is unknown – since those events took place a century ago, perhaps Frankenstein misinterpreted secondary, harmful aspects of Ivan’s hypothetical mutation.

Of course, Frankenstein may also just have been lying to Ivan all along, manipulating him to accept having his brain transplanted into the Monster.

Ivan survived a seemingly fatal gunshot wound – however it is unclear how long his Invulnerability took to kick in. It might have been but a few minutes, or it might conceivably have been nearly a century. It is apparently the same healing factor that prevents him from ageing. Victoria Frankenstein hypothesised that this anti-agathic factor might be the result of something Vincent Frankenstein did to Ivan in the 1890s.


Ivan was first seen in the closing years of the XIXth century, in Transylvania, as a servant of a descendant of Victor Frankenstein – Vincent Frankenstein.

When Frankenstein found and confronted the Monster created by his great-grand-uncle, Ivan prevented the creature from killing his employer. He nearly killed it in return, but Frankenstein ordered him not to and convinced the Monster to come with them to London, hidden in coffin.

Before they left, the Monster (recently rendered mute by a vampire’s bite) insisted to bury Carmen, a young Romani woman turned into a vampire then slain hours before. The scene touched Ivan, who felt empathy when seeing a grotesque giant like himself show so much respect and tenderness toward a woman. During the trip to London, Ivan came to decide that the Monster was a good person and his friend.

London calling

However, in London, the Monster intuitively realised something was wrong and attempted to flee, trying to batter Ivan aside. The hunchbacked Russian was uncertain of what to do and why his proclaimed friend was hitting him, but soon grew angry and decided that the Monster had duped him into becoming his friend. Ivan knocked out the creature, already weakened by a an injection from Frankenstein.

After Frankenstein revealed that he intended to transplant Ivan’s brain into the Monster so Ivan would be forever cured of his disease and Frankenstein could control the Monster, the kyphotic Russian rebelled. Fed up with how his employer was treating him, he held him captive and refused to let him see his dying wife to make him suffer. Things then swiftly got even worse.

The Monster attacked and, very confused by the injections, assaulted Ivan despite the Russian’s pleas of friendship. Ivan finally retaliated, swiftly defeating the creature. Frankenstein gunned Ivan down from behind, and then opened fire on the Monster.

As the hunchback laid dying, the maid shot Vincent Frankenstein dead as vengeance for her employer’s lack of attention toward his dying wife – not knowing that Frankenstein’s apparent callousness toward his spouse resulted from being sequestrated by Ivan.

Of the three persons who were shot, only the Monster seemed to survive, shambling away in the dark and stormy night.

Modern Gothic

However, no less than a hundred years after those events (and 23 years in publication time !), it was revealed that Ivan had actually survived the wound, hadn’t visibly aged, and had resumed his search of his “friend”, the Monster.

He had found a way to give a “real” body to the Monster, who agreed to the offer. Frankenstein and Ivan allied with a cloning specialist, Dr. Walston Kraft, to both receive normal-looking bodies.

However, the investigating Peter Parker revealed to the Monster that Ivan and Kraft had betrayed him, and just planned to use him as a template for an army of monstrous clones. It is likely that Ivan’s promised reward for leading the Monster to Kraft was a normal body.

The Monster and Ivan fought, but the Monster was apparently considerably stronger than he used to be and managed to break Ivan’s neck.

The gigantic Russian has already come back from death at least once, though.


Ivan’s eyes have switched from brown to blue, and he’s at one point described as “red-headed” though his hair is always coloured brown.


Ivan might be retarded to some extent – or he might simply have grown up in awful circumstances and been denied education and socialisation. In either case he has a very limited registry of concepts at his disposal, and is akin to a surly, sullen six-year old struggling to make sense of things. He did manage to learn a second language, though.

Ivan has a very bad temper, and is proud to announce it. While he’s obedient toward his employer, even in such matters he can have a bit of an attitude. Victoria Frankenstein described him as a “cruel, dull-witted creature”.

Being a grotesque giant with awful anger control issues, Ivan is very lonely and wishes he had friends, perhaps people like himself. He’s also willing to do anything to gain a ’normal‘ body, even betraying his only friend.


“Ivan understands — and Ivan obeys !!”

“You can’t hurt Ivan ! Nothing can hurt Ivan ! But Ivan can hurt — and now Ivan will hurt you !”

“That makes Ivan angry ! And when Ivan is angry… Ivan kills !”

“When did you show any mercy for Ivan ? When did you show feelings for him ? Why do you deserve any better treatment than you’ve given me ?”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 05 Str: 09 Bod: 08 Motivation: Psycho
Int: 02 Wil: 01 Min: 03 Occupation: Servant
Inf: 04 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 001
Init: 011 HP: 015

Powers: Growth: 02, Invulnerability: 10

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Growth is Always On and Already Factored In
  • Invulnerability apparently takes a very long time to work – perhaps years or even decades

Skills: None demonstrated

Advantages: Language (Russian), Near-Immortal

Connections: None

Drawbacks: Partial Attack Vulnerability (Firearms and focused energy weapons, – 3CS RV), Strange Appearance, Misc.: Ivan’s English is mediocre at best, Minor Ubermensch Syndrome, MPR (Hunchbacked), Serious Rage, MIA toward finding friends, MIA toward cruelty

Design notes

He’s got but two appearances, so the stats below are quite tentative. Worse, we have yet to research Marvel’s classic version of Frankenstein’s Monster, so my benchmarks might well be off by an AP or two. But Ivan wants to meet people in WORG, so Ivan goes in !

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Marvel Universe (Frankenstein stuff, mostly)

Helper(s): Ethan Roe, Darci

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