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Ivan (Marvel Comics) (Frankenstein enemy)

Ivan the kyphotic giant


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

This obscure Marvel character primarily appeared in one 1974 storyline. However, there also were odd and unexpected 1990s returns.

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”.


Background

  • 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


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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.

Vincent Frankenstein made a reference to a “disease” that was “wracking [Ivan’s] body”. Its nature is unknown – and Frankenstein could credibly have made it up the manipulate Ivan.

Since those events took place a century ago, perhaps Ivan is a mutant. If so Frankenstein could easily have misinterpreted secondary, harmful aspects of Ivan’s mutation.

Resilience

Ivan survived a seemingly fatal gunshot wound. However; it is unclear how long it took for him to recover. 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 Ivan from ageing. Victoria Frankenstein hypothesised that this anti-agathic  factor might be the result of something Vincent Frankenstein did to Ivan during the 1890s.


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History

Ivan was first seen in the closing years of the XIXth century, in Transylvania. He was 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. He instead convinced the Monster to come with them to London, hidden within a coffin.

Before they left, the Monster (recently rendered mute by a vampire’s bite) insisted to bury one Carmen. She was a young Romani woman turned into a vampire then slain hours before. The scene touched Ivan, who empathised with a grotesque giant showing respect and tenderness.

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. He 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 Ivan 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.

However, Frankenstein then revealed that he intended to transplant Ivan’s brain into the Monster. In his view Ivan would be forever cured of his disease and serve him even better. The kyphotic Russian rebelled. Fed up with his employer, he held him captive. Ivan even refused to let him see his dying wife to make him suffer.

Things then swiftly got even worse.

Monster vs. giant

The Monster attacked. Being confused by the injections, he 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. She did not know 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. He shambled away in the dark and stormy night.

Modern Gothic

A century later, Ivan turned up alive. He hadn’t visibly aged, and had resumed his search of his “friend”, the Monster.

The giant 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, so they would both receive normal-looking bodies.

However, the investigating Peter Parker revealed to the Monster that Ivan and Kraft had betrayed him. They 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. Thus, he broke Ivan’s neck.

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


Description

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.


Personality

Ivan might be mentally handicapped 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 limited registry of concepts at his disposal. Ivan is akin to a surly, sullen six-year old struggling to make sense of things. Yet he learned a second language.

Ivan has an awful 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 severe anger issues, Ivan is very lonely. He wishes he had friends, perhaps people like himself. He’s also willing to do anything to gain a more average-looking body, even betraying his only friend.


Quotes

“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

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Ivan

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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