Elena Ivanovna (Maverick ally) (Marvel comics)

Elena Ivanovna


Elena Ivanovna was a background character is a strange 1993 Wolverine story. But the bulk of her published career took place in 1997/98, back when the super-soldier Maverick had his own Marvel comic book.

She’s a Russian free agent with minor psionic  powers. We’d suggest first reading the Maverick character profile for context, unless you’re real familiar with these bits of Marvel lore.


  • Real Name: Elena Ivanovna’s family name is unrevealed. An editorial snafu had her name switch from Elena Ivanovna (which would be her patronymic) to Elena Ivanova (which would be her last name). I’ve stuck with the patronymic, which seemed to be the more informed version.
  • Other Aliases: “Red” (early nickname from Maverick, was soon thankfully dropped).
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Ivan (aka Epsilon Red, father), mother (name unknown, deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: Former member of the KGB special psi action team.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile ; formerly the Tyuratam Space Center in Siberia.
  • Height: 5’7” Weight: 130 lbs.
  • Eyes: Very blue. Hair: Blonde.


Powers and Abilities

Elena is a well-trained former KGB agent. She also has inherited mutant telepathic abilities from her father. Her mental powers have decent flexibility, but they tend to be exhausting and painful, except for basic communication and scanning.

At one point she seemed to astrally project. But this was just a nice visual for standard telepathy use in mental combat.

Maverick once instructed her to conduct an interesting stunt. She made a small group invisible right after a messy explosion, then mentally projected into the only witness the image of mangled corpses falling back into the crater. But it is unlikely she could coordinate such a complicated stunt without Maverick’s Hero Points . Especially since her powers require so much concentration.

She did come up with simpler but still smart tricks on her own. Such as projecting the illusion she was the little girl that Omega Red had last killed before his transformation. Seeing his victim inexplicably come back decades after her murder, the serial killer was unnerved enough to drop Elena. That allowed her to escape certain death.


She may lack Maverick’s huge experience, but she’s smart, dedicated and seriously studies her data.

She’s an excellent driver, and seems in fact specifically trained in security and evasive driving. Her skills even extended to high-tech anti-gravity, vectored-thrust personnel carriers. Her gunplay was also pretty good.

Her willpower is remarkable. After Sabretooth badly broke her arm, she bent it back into place to attempt another assault, an incredibly painful feat. But she was obviously not in her normal state of mind, though. In DC Heroes RPG terms, she was burning through all her Hero Points.


Door between minds

Elena’s psionics tend to have permanent effects. She mentioned that doing a hostile mind probe ran the risk of permanently scrambling or deforming the memories being probed. This is why she asked Maverick for help rather than just wrench the memories about Sabertooth from his mind. Ivanovna generally seems to consider mind probing to be a brutal act she’d rather not commit.

Frequent contact also has long-term consequences. First, it makes communication between her and her frequent telepathic contact increasingly fast. For instance she and Maverick could have an elaborate discussion about tactical plans and ruses within, at most, a half-dozen seconds.

However this increasingly efficient psi-link , however, proved to have unintended side effects. When Elena was in extreme amounts of pain (resetting her badly broken arm by herself or being battered into a coma by Sabertooth), Maverick was also hit. The pain saturated the implicit psi-link between the two of them.

When resuscitating Maverick, Elena Ivanovna took mental control of Maverick to “reboot” his brain and heart. Here too she burned every single Hero Point she had in the attempt (Stunt Power, in DC Heroes terms).

This powerful gambit also had some hazy long-term effects. The remission that was allowed by her psionic kick would weaken whenever the mind-link with Maverick would go offline. This happened when she was plunged into a coma.


Elena Ivanovna is strongly tied to what appears to have been the chief program in the old USSR to create combination super-soldiers and super-cosmonauts. Her father was one of the early recruits to become a super-cosmonaut. That was because he evidenced strong psionic potential, likely of mutant nature.

The State worked on him to activate his potential as well as modify his physiology. Early in those modifications, the cosmonaut conceived a child with his wife, before the body modifications confining him to a containment suit made that impossible. Now optimized to live in space, the man was codenamed Epsilon Red.

Cold Warriors

The US Government was terrified that with such an asset, the Soviets would be the first to put a man on the Moon. Therefore a core member of the elite commando unit Team X, Logan, was sent to Tyuratam to terminate Epsilon Red weeks before he could take flight and beat the Apollo mission.

There was an almost immediate counter-order, though. Apparently, the CIA was now confident the Cape Kennedy rocket would beat the Tyuratam one, possibly due to sabotage. Another Team X operative, Creed, was sent to intercept Logan.

He arrived as Logan was confronting Epsilon Red. The super-cosmonaut was facing the Canadian mutant and asking him to complete his mission, since he could no longer stand to live in painful physical state and separated from his wife by his containment suit. Further, Epsilon Red apparently knew the Soviets would not reach the Moon before the Americans and his mission would be shelved.

His very pregnant wife was trying to convince him there was still hope, and even interposed herself between Logan and Epsilon Red.

Creed stopped the hesitating Logan. He told him to start clearing the way out. Sensing that Creed was more of a killer than Logan, Epsilon Red asked if Creed would kill him, but the man who would later become Sabertooth shot his wife point-blank in the face instead. Epsilon Red, nearly dead due to a containment suit breach caused by Logan, was unable to stop him.

A chronology interlude

The usual problem. Elena was born in 1968. When she appears in 1993 she is thus 25. This no longer works, since if her 1993 adventure happened about “three years ago” in the ten-year timeline. Yet her birth date must be shortly before the 1969 moon landing, and she must be young in her 1993 appearance, for the story to make sense.

Worse, she always seems and feels younger than her chronological age per publication date should be. IIRC she mentions being 23 in her last appearance — which feels correct , since she seemed to be about 16 in her first appearance.

Since everybody involved has some sort of age-suppression factor, it is best to assume that :

  1. She was indeed born in 1969.
  2. She encountered Wolverine again in 1993 as per publication date.
  3. She joined forces with Maverick in 1997, as per publication date.

Just give her an age-suppression factor that starts kicking in when she reaches 16 or so, or see the article on the Leòn Genetic Sequence.

Back to the story

Medical personal arrived in the nick of time. They managed to save the super-cosmonaut from fatal decompression and to extract his daughter from her mother’s corpse, through C-section.

The pregnancy was close enough to term that young Elena survived her birth without long-term consequences. Howbeit, when she hit puberty and acquired her telepathic abilities, she discovered she had telepathically acquired the last memories of her mother.

With the Apollo flight in July of 1969, launching the Moon mission of Epsilon Red became pointless. He was grounded. Red languished for decades on Tyuratam, raising his daughter who inherited his psionic talents and was drafted to become a KGB agent.

The Soviet super-soldier program continued apace. By 1969 a powerful agent codenamed Omega Red was created. Fittingly, he was the last soldier to be created by the program. In 1969 Team X (Logan, Creed and North) stole a key piece of technology that forced the program to shut down. That also forced Omega Red into suspended animation.


Elena Ivanovna continued to refine her powers, with Epsilon Red likely being one of her main teachers. She hoped to one day, somehow, kill Sabertooth. Meanwhile her father received a more advanced containment suit, making his condition more easily withstood.

In 1993, Wolverine returned to Tyuratam. He was in a state of extreme mental confusion and had regressed to 1968. As a consequence, he was convinced he had to make his way to the “Soviet” space centre and kill a super-cosmonaut.

He managed to reach Epsilon Red and his daughter. But the super-cosmonaut helped Logan recover his sense of time, erase his confusion and weaken the mental blocks protecting his real memories. This even gave Wolverine a few scattered visions about his past.

In exchange, Wolverine helped Epsilon Red hijack the Russian space shuttle being prepped for launch. In this way, the cosmonaut could finally leave Earth and live in the environment he was designed for. Perhaps out of gratitude, Elena did not tell Wolverine what had happened with Creed and her mother almost 25 years before.


By the mid-1990s, the KGB wasn’t in good shape. This weakness allowed Elena Ivanovna to leave Russia with all of the information she could gather and bribe from her old agency about Team X.

After reviewing the files, she decided her best asset to kill Sabertooth would be to enlist the Maverick (Christopher North). He had previously hunted his former colleague to stop his psychotic murders. But her files were two years out of date. While she managed to track Maverick down, Elena was shocked to discover that he was dying from the Legacy Virus.

A further shock came when she realized the super-soldier Omega Red has been trailing her. He was looking for the C-synthesizer, a technology he needed to survive. Omega Red’s sudden appearance forced Elena and Maverick to flee. Eventually, with the support of John Wraith and the unwitting assistance of the Canadian Air Force, they managed to get rid of Omega Red.

But Elena was now attracted to Maverick. Furthermore, she started doubting her goal after learning what happened to Birdy, the previous telepath who had tried to take Sabertooth down. She decided to delay her quest a bit and ease Maverick’s last weeks of life.

Wounded warrior

Maverick hanged on for months, but then died. Elena first tried CPR , then attempted to reboot his brain telepathically to revive him. This worked beyond all hopes, likely due to the Weapon X genetic modifications. Not only did Maverick revive, but his lost powers came back and further mutated. He became the first and only man to beat the Legacy Virus.

They adventured together. Elena eventually started a relationship with Maverick, though his issues with trust — and the fate of his previous marriage — made it uneasy.

Ivanovna was briefly used by the crimelord Ivan the Terrible to brainwash Maverick. But Maverick managed to break the memory implants before any permanent harm was done to anyone. Howbeit, Elena found herself in possession of a fairly thorough probing of Maverick’s mind. She knew practically everything about his life.

After a spat with Maverick Elena (still haunted by her mother’s memories) made an attempt on Sabertooth’s life. It was a glorified suicide attempt that left her in a coma. Maverick barely managed to save her life.

When Maverick had his eye gouged out by Sickle III and crashed in the Swiss Alps, the shock partially awoke Ivanovna. It is, however, unclear whether she ever fully recuperated. Some time later Maverick permanently disappeared to become Agent Zero.


Elena has a noticeable, but not strong, Russian accent.


During the early 1990s, Elena was described as “crazy” by the director of the space centre. She was very close and in complete awe of her father, whom she considered a great and important Russian hero. It seems likely she did not leave Russia because her dedication to Epsilon Red was even greater than her hatred for Sabertooth.

The director was probably right. Elena did come across as stiff, weirdly naïve and flakey. This probably can be explained by the fact the last memories of her mother were imprinted in her brain before she was born, a likely psi-link with her father, and the peculiar atmosphere of a space centre lost in the middle of nowhere.

Perhaps as a reaction to crappy Russian cars and her apparent taste for driving, Elena seemed enthusiastic when it came to Western muscle cars. She blew quite a lot of money on a Viper  (bright red, of course) when she started operating in the US. She lost the Viper, but generally prefers red muscle cars.

Elena may be KGB, but she’s not really violent. When pushed too far she will use deadly force and even evidence a vicious streak, but this is well within how most people would react. After she was given one of Ferguson’s stunners, she always used it rather than firearms.

This lack of penchant toward violence totally disappears when it comes to Sabertooth. She has very regular nightmares of her mother’s death, reviving the memories imprinted upon her brain. When facing Creed, Ivanovna was amazingly determined, savage and single-minded.


“I am Elena Ivanovna and I am a psi-talent. I was an agent of the former Комите́т госуда́рственной безопа́сности and a product of the same program that produced Omega Red and Epsilon Red. I read your dossier. Quite a thick one.”

“Sabretooth killed my mother just for spite – to cause my father pain. I have been hunting for him for years and when I find him, I will kill him. By the way… do you know there are two people watching this room even as we speak ?”

“So you want to know my story ? It is long and complex. The subtleties will be lost in the translation.”

“[Those stunguns are] great in theory… but considering the opposition, you’ll pardon me if I’d feel a lot more secure with a Kalashnikov in my hands.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 04 Motivation: Avenge her mother
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 07 Occupation: Adventurer
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 010 HP: 020

Chameleon: 08, Life sense: 06, Mental invisibility: 06, Mind blast: 05, Mind probe: 06, Telepathy: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All Powers save Telepathy are Contingent on Telepathy.
  • Chameleon is Fatiguing and only works against the target she is concentrating on (it is telepathic in nature).
  • Chameleon is Usable on Others.
  • Mental Invisibility has an Area of Effect (0 APs) but is Fatiguing.
  • Mind blast is Fatiguing.
  • Mind Probe is Fatiguing… for both the prober and the probee.
  • With a trained subject (such as Maverick), Telepathy allows discussion at the speed of thought.
  • Psi-link (see “door between minds”).

Medicine (First aid): 03, Scientist (Research): 04, Vehicles (Air, land): 06, Weaponry (Firearms): 05

Language (Russian), Slowed Ageing.

Maverick (High), Isabel Ferguson (Low), Gregor Kokoschka (ex-KGB cartographer, Low).

SIH of Sabertooth.


  • MUSCLE CAR [STR 04 BODY 06, Running: 07, R#02]
  • Neural-Synaptic Disruptor [BODY 03, Energy blast: 06, Range: 02, R#02, Limitation: Energy Blast has no Range, use the listed Range instead. Those science-fiction-looking weapons are designed and built by Isabel Ferguson. Though Elena initially would rather have wielded an assault rifle, she quickly came to appreciate the design.]
  • During her foray in the sewers to hunt for Sabertooth, she was wearing waterproof military fatigues and rebreather protecting her lower face [BODY 01, Enhance (RV vs. particulates, vapors and gasses): 04 (cap is 07), Enhance (RV vs. facial attacks): 01 (cap is 05), R#02] since there were toxic emanations in that area.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Various X-titles and Maverick LSes.