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“Mrs. Gradenko doesn’t understand code names, so she’s simply… Mrs. Gradenko.”


This obscure DC Comics character presumably references the The Police song.

She only appeared in one 1991 Suicide Squad story – during the Ostrander/Yale run.

She’s an intriguing, unusual Russian super-agent. But the more one thinks about her nature, the weirder things get…



  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Red Shadows.
  • Base Of Operations: Moscow.
  • Height: 5’4” (1.62m) / about 2 metres (6’7″). Weight: 115 lbs. (47 Kg.) / about 300Kg (660 lbs.).
  • Eyes: Grey. Hair: Grey.

Powers and Abilities

Mrs. Gradenko can turn into a ferocious bear. This beast can kill a number of armed men, or engage superhumans in combat.

In human form, she seems unable to speak and may not be fully sapientCapable of intelligent reasoning.. Still, she understands Russian – and could follow instructions such as “leave a messenger” (that is, kill everybody but one person).

Mrs Gradenko Zastrow - Suicide Squad DC Comics - morphing bear


Mrs. Gradenko was seen operating under the direct supervision of Zastrow, the commanding officer of the Red Shadows.

She thus seems to be a KGB agent.


Mrs. Gradenko’s human form is a little old lady – a next-door blue-collar Russian retiree.

The size of the bear seems unclear from the panels. One likely hypothesis is that she doesn’t grow into her full-size ursine form instantly.

Our vitals therefore assume that she’s about the size of an Eurasian brown bear (ursus arctos). But an unusually large one, especially for a female specimen.

On some art, Mrs. Gradenko’s hump is unusually large. Found on brown bears, this hump is a specialised group of muscles adding strength to the forelimbs – usually to dig for food.


Mrs. Gradenko’s personality and perceptions are animalistic. Frex, she trusts her sense of smell more than her sense of sight.

Zastrow mostly used Mrs. Gradenko as a bodyguard and enforcer. He keeps her close at hand and tells her who to attack.

Zastrow does not seem to trust her ability to operate on her own, or follow complex orders.

Mrs Gradenko Zastrow - Suicide Squad DC Comics - vs. nightshade floodlights

DC Heroes RPG

Mrs. Gradenko (ursine form)

Dex: 04 Str: 08 Bod: 07
Int: 03 Wil: 01 Min: 03
Inf: 04 Aur: 01 Spi: 03
Init: 013 HP: 030


Analytical smell/tracking scent: 07, Claws: 09, Cold immunity: 02, Density increase: 02, Growth: 01, Running: 05, Skin armour: 01, Swimming: 04, Ultra-vision: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Both Density increase and Growth are Always On (except in Insta-change form) and already factored in.
  • Skin Armour only vs. Bludgeoning and Unarmed damage.
  • Ultra-vision only for low-light vision.


Charisma (Intimidation): 05, Martial Artist (AV): 06, Military science (Camouflage, tracking): 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

Mrs. Gradenko can make a Charisma (Intimidation) roll as she assumes her ursine form. In such circumstances, the effect gets a 1 AP Area of Effect.


Familiarity (Forest survival), Insta-change, Language (Russian), Lightning Reflexes.


KGB (Low), Zastrow (Low).


Alter-Ego, Strange Appearance, SPR (mute in human form), Misc. Mrs. Gradenko presumably doesn’t speak English, Misc.: Mrs Gradenko seems to be borderline pre-sapient.







Design notes

Stats are largely arbitrary due to the scant material.

DC Adventures RPG

Mrs. Gradenko — Averaged PL7

04 (08) 02 (06) 01 -1
05 -2 01 -1


Wifberan ● 22 points (Noticeable, Innate) ● Descriptor: Good question
– Claw/claw/bite — Strength-based Damage 1, Improved Critical 1.
– Mass and fur — Protection 2 (Limited 1 to blunt, unarmed and cold descriptor), Immunity 1 (Enviro cold), Growth 4 (Permanent)
– Bear nose — Senses 3 (Acute tracking scent, Low light vision).
– Doesn’t just sit in the woods — Speed 3, Swimming 4.

Combat Advantages:

Defensive Roll 2, Increased Initiative, Startle.

Other Advantages:

None demonstrated.


Athletics 4 (+12), Close combat (Claws/claws/bite) 4 (+9), Expertise (Forest survival) 5 (+3), Intimidation 6 (+5), Perception 4 (+5)


Initiative +5
Claws/Claws/Bite +9, close, Damage 9, Crit 19-20


Dodge 05
Fortitude 10
Parry 06
Toughness 06*/08/10**
Will 02

* Without Defensive Roll.
** Blunt/Unarmed/Cold only.


  • метаморфоза Mrs. Gradenko’s human form *probably* has the abilities of a normal little old lady.
  • Pre-sapient? Mrs. Gradenko seems pre-sapient, and likely only speaks Russian.
  • More than you can bear Mrs. Gradenko’s animalistic form is huge, scary and presumably smelly.

Powers Levels:

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 9, Dodge/Toughness PL 7, Parry/Toughness PL 8, Fort/Will PL 6.
  • Points total 66. Abilities 18, Defences 10, Skills 12, Powers 22, Devices 0, Advantages 4. Equiv. PL 5.


The stats have been synched with official GR bear stats. We know very little about her due to lack of material, so that seemed reasonable.

Though once again M&M Earth, where the average bear can bench-press more than five tons (ten if their fur is white), seems to be a very dangerous place.

Writeups.org writer avatar Sébastien Andrivet

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Suicide Squad #52-57 (DC Universe).

Helper(s): Darci.