Boris Turgenov (Iron Man enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Boris Turgenov


Boris Turgenov was part of the Black Widow (Natalia Romanova)’s first appearance, in 1964. And, well, that’s it.

But he *could* be useful in Cold War flashback stories, or stories set in the early 1960s USSR. Or a flashback about the Widow. Or some such.


  • Real Name: Boris Turgenov.
  • Marital Status: Presumed single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: KGB ; partner of the Black Widow.
  • Base Of Operations: Russia.
  • Height: 6’3” Weight: 240 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Blond


Powers and Abilities

Boris is one of the top agents for the KGB. He’s both an able scientist and a strongman, thus demonstrating the superiority of the New Soviet Man over decadent imperialistic capitalist running dogs !


During the 1960s, Mr. Turgenov was the partner of the Black Widow (Natalia Romanova). Although the Widow disliked him, she always hid it. The duo had a formidable track record, and they seemingly worked together for several years.

Their final mission took place in the USA, in 1964. They were to bring back defector Anton Vanko, the genius scientist behind the Crimson Dynamo armour. Vanko had been convinced to defect by American industrialist Tony Stark.

Within hours, the Widow had thoroughly vamped Stark and was having dinner with him. She told him that her “brother” Boris was a science teacher from Ukraine. Stark even agreed that Boris should visit Stark Industries to tell his students about American technology.

Comrade Vanko, I presume

Leveraging Stark’s absence, Boris reached Vanko, captured him and walked away with him. He left a tape recorder playing a lecture by Vanko in the scientist’s room. Since everyone knew that Vanko hated being interrupted while lecturing, the disappearance went unnoticed.


Turgenov dumped Vanko in a waiting submarine, then suited up using the Crimson Dynamo power armour . From there he attacked Iron Man, relying on the confusion as everybody thought the man within the armour was Vanko. This allowed him to defeat the Golden Avenger, and bring him back to the sub as well.

The Soviets couldn’t open Stark’s armour, but Turgenov was confident that he had exhausted his power reserves. He then went back to capture Stark, not knowing that he was Iron Man.

Things go bad

This is when the remarkably well-executed mission went sour. Stark used a light bulb to repower, free Vanko, escape and intercept Turgenov. The Black Widow attempted a diversion, but even with this edge Boris couldn’t meet Iron Man in a straight fight. Realising this, he instead focused on Vanko.

However, Vanko seized an experimental laser. Knowing full well what would happen, he shot Boris. Both Vanko and Turgenov perished in the uncontrolled blast.

The Black Widow then escaped in the chaos.

World’s greatest no-goodnik

Having a pair of KGB agents in the US named Boris and Natasha is inevitably a Rocky and Bullwinkle  reference. Back in 1964 this animated TV series was at its peak. One of the recurrent features were the comedy misadventures of Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale as they clashed with the titular moose and squirrel.

Rocky and Bullwinkle was a landmark show, remained a part of popular culture for decades and can still be quoted by old codgers.

During the 2000s, Tony Stark made a “Boris and Natasha” joke (because Stark is a jerk) that implied that Boris Turgenov had been retconned  as having been Boris Bullski, the Titanium Man. How it could work is unclear.

My No-Prize Explanation  is that Stark simply confused the two Borises – perhaps deliberately so he could make his bad joke.


See illustration.


Boris sounds a bit oafish and too proud of his strength. But he’s actually a smooth pro, who dares and wins.

He tends to daydream about being a great hero of the Soviet Union, adulated by the crowd. This is presumably the trait that secretly annoyed his partner Natalia.


“Walk around ?? Boris does not walk around puny obstacles… it is easier to hurl them aside…so !” (picks a heavy desk and throws it away)

“Our leader said to exterminate Vanko… never dreaming I could bring him back alive ! I’ll be a greater hero now… and more so when I’ve beaten Stark, as well as the over-rated Iron Man ! The Black Widow and Boris can defeat anyone !!”

“What a hero’s welcome I shall receive when I return !”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 05 Str: 05 Bod: 05 Motivation: Glory
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 04 Occupation: Special agent
Inf: 05 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 015 HP: 025

Artist (Actor): 03, Gadgetry: 05, Scientist: 05, Thief (Stealth): 03, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Firearms, exotic): 05

Language (Russian).

Black Widow (Low), KGB (Low).

SIA toward Glory, Dark Secret (eeeevil Soviet Communist Bolshevik red spy !).

During the Vanko/Stark operation, Boris used the following gear:

  • Acid spray [BODY 02, Acid (No Range): 04. This spray is pretty good at taking out metallic locks. From there Boris can usually shred what remains of the door using his great strength.]
  • Jet paralyzer pistol [BODY 04, Snare: 06, Ammo: 04. This pistol, designed by Vanko, shot “magnetic artificial fibers” that wrapped around their target like tentacles. They then expanded and hardened into a cocoon.
  • He also wore one of the very first CRIMSON DYNAMO armours, and managed to access the following: [/STR/ 10 /BODY/ 11, Lightning: 14, Shade: 02, Limitation: Lightning has but a Range of 04]. For fuller stats, see the Anton Vanko writeup.

Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Boris Turgenov — Averaged PL6.6

04 03 02 02 04 03 01 01


Turgenov briefly operated the Crimson Dynamo armour. But these were exceptional circumstances, and he could only access some of its capabilities. This is thus not counted into his caps or budget.

Crimson Dynamo (partial functionalities) ● N.A. points ● Descriptor: Technology
– Enhanced Strength 6.
– Ranged lightning Damage 13, Diminished Range 3.
– Impervious Protection 6.
– Enhanced Impervious Fortitude 4.

Combat Advantages

Chokehold, Close Attack 3, Defensive Roll 3, Improved Smash, Ranged Attack 5.

Other Advantages

Benefits 2 (Well-considered KGB agent), Equipment 5, Language (Russian and perhaps others), Ultimate effort (Strength).


Athletics 1 (+5), Deception 3 (+4), Expertise (Espionage) 7 (+10), Expertise (Hard sciences) 6 (+9), Insight 3 (+4), Perception 4 (+5), Stealth 2 (+4), Technology 7 (+10), Vehicles 2 (+4) (Limited 12 to land vehicles).


During the Stark/Vanko mission, Boris had two weapons in his Equipment pool :
Acid spray Weaken metal 5 (Objects Only) ● 5 points
Jet Paralyser pistol Snare 6 ● 18 points


Initiative +2
Unarmed +7, Close, Damage 4


Dodge 07 Fortitude 08
Parry 08 Toughness 06
Will 04

* Without Defensive Roll


  • No guts no glory Turgenov is always daydreaming about glory, a hero’s welcome, parades in his honour, this stuff. It’s grating.
  • I, spy Turgenov is routinely conducted deadly undercover missions.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 7, Dodge/Toughness PL 7, Parry/Toughness PL 7, Fort/Will PL 6.
  • Points total 86. Abilities 40, Defences 17, Skills 17, Powers 0, Devices 0, Advantages 22. Equiv. PL 6.


Attack/Effect PL assumes Equipment with 6 or 7 offensive Ranks.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Tales of Suspense #52.