- "It hurts!"
- ―Josef to Vasily Karpov
Josef was an elite HYDRA operative who was enhanced by the Super Soldier Serum as a part of the Winter Soldier Program. Years later, Josef was executed by Helmut Zemo while in cryostasis hibernation, as well as the other Winter Soldiers.
Training for Missions
Josef was part of an elite group of five assassins under HYDRA who possessed the highest kill count out of all the assets HYDRA possessed even before being enhanced by the Super Soldier Serum. He and the others were injected with the Super Soldier Serum to replicate the Winter Soldier himself. Barnes was tasked to train the Winter Soldiers to see if they could overpower him, meaning the experiments were a success. To the delight of HYDRA, it was, with Josef successfully overpowering Barnes.
Killed by Zemo
The Winter Soldiers were eventually found by Helmut Zemo in 2016, who Captain America and Iron Man believed was looking for them to turn them into weapons for his own agenda. To the Avengers' surprise, Zemo had actually executed Josef and the rest of the Winter Soldiers by shooting them each in the head.
Powers and Abilities
- Artificially Enhanced Physiology: Vasily Karpov's unit in the Soviet HYDRA base injected Josef with Howard Stark's stolen Super Soldier Serum. This gave him enhanced physical functions, but also increased his aggression.
- Enhanced Strength: As a Winter Soldier, Josef's physical strength is immensely enhanced to the early levels of superhuman condition by a series of treatments performed on him by HYDRA scientists. He was strong enough to be able to overpower Bucky Barnes, the original Winter Soldier, despite him also having a cybernetic arm, managing to pin the limb down firmly and then send him flying with great force using a single kick, snap the neck of a HYDRA scientist with ease, as well as effortlessly take out multiple guards.
- Enhanced Durability: His bones and muscles are apparently vastly denser and more resilient than a normal human's. He sustained no injury being hit with a baton at full force.
- Enhanced Speed: Josef's speed is tremendously enhanced beyond the peak of human potential, moving into the early levels of superhuman condition.
- Enhanced Agility: Josef's vastly enhanced agility is superior to even Olympic gold medalists.
- Enhanced Stamina: Josef's musculature produces far less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary human, allowing him to exert himself at peak capacity for hours before tiring.
- Enhanced Reflexes: His reflexes are enhanced to extraordinary levels. His reflexes are responsive enough to dodge Barnes’ attacks.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Josef's body is able to heal with extraordinary speed and efficiency beyond a regular human being.
- Expert Combatant: Josef received training from the highly skilled Winter Soldier, which gave him great combat ability. He was eventually able to overpower Barnes and take out multiple highly-trained guards.
- Master Spy: According to Winter Soldier, Josef could hide in plain sight and manage to destabilize an entire country in one night.
- Multilingualism: Josef could speak thirty languages, including Russian.
- Helmut Zemo - Killer