Anton Ivanov, known to all his subordinates as the Superior (Russian: Антон Иванов), was the leader for the Watchdogs and former member of the SVR who had sought his revenge against Phil Coulson for his part in causing the executions of his former units and for him being an alleged root for Earth's extraterrestrial problems. After being crippled by Quake, his head was severed by Aida and placed in a jar, but he was able to remotely control his numerous robotic duplicates of himself while also protecting the Framework. Despite serving Aida's instructions to not kill the agents, Superior had then tried to use the Darkhold's wisdom to create a new world in which all Inhumans were feared and hated by the world. However, all of Superior's schemes were stopped by the combined efforts of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Ghost Rider, since they destroyed Superior's robotic bodies and killed Aida, although Superior escaped.
Six months after S.H.I.E.L.D.'s disbandment, Superior's head had been acquired by General Hale, who used it to force him to serve HYDRA to combat another impending alien invasion, which put Superior back into a conflict with Coulson who did not trust Hale's intentions. Lacking his abilities to create more Life-Model Decoys for himself, after Aida's demise, Superior had instead created Sleeper Mechs under his control to aid in Hale's agendas. Superior's desire to find and test the Particle Infusion Chamber on himself had led him to personally search for it, as he also attached his own human head onto a robotic body, putting him at great risk. However, that turned out to be a fatal mistake as his duel against Yo-Yo Rodriguez resulted in Superior being thrown out a window which cost him his life.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 Watchdogs' Campaign
- 1.3 Robotic Bodies
- 1.4 Working for HYDRA
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and Abilities
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Facilities
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Appearances
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Behind the Scenes
- 10 References
- 11 External Links
- "My father worked an oil drill. He was a son of a bitch, but he worked hard for not much, so I admired him. The richest man in my town, on the other hand, inherited his money from his father who built airplanes. He wore furs, was entitled. When I saw my father with this man, complimenting him, licking his boots, my admiration for my father evaporated."
- ―Anton Ivanov to Jeffrey Mace[src]
Raised in Russia, Anton Ivanov's father was a strict and cruel man, described by Ivanov himself as being a son of a bitch; however his father's great dedication and hard work on an Oil Rig allowed Ivanov to greatly respect him. However, Ivanov lost all respect for his own father upon seeing him suck up to another man from their town who had never worked for his fortune. His moment reinforced Ivanov's view that money and power was something that should be earned through hard work, not inherited or stolen.
Encountering Phil Coulson
While working for the SVR, Anton Ivanov and his unit were sent to collect the Russian 0-8-4 from an old military compound called the Burkov Mining Facility. However, upon arriving at the facility they found Phil Coulson was already there, claiming he had been sent to be investigated a biohazard leak, although Ivanov's commander remained highly skeptical of his true reasons for agent Coulson being there.
However, while they were speaking, Melinda May, then seemingly betrayed her partner Coulson and stole the 0-8-4 for herself before escaping, causing Ivanov's commander to take Coulson captive, with Ivanov looking at his hostage as he closed the doors of the van. However, Ivanov and his unit were soon attacked by May who freed Coulson and escaped, as a direct result, Ivanov's unit were tortured and executed for the failure, although Ivanov managed to escape the same punishment. Ivanov went on to directly blame Coulson and all of S.H.I.E.L.D. for the incident which killed his allies.
Leading the Watchdogs
Anton Ivanov built his fortune working as an industrialist and spent much of his cash on military antiques, including a submarine. Upon learning of the new Inhuman Outbreak, Ivanov was disgusted by the notion of Inhumans gaining power they did not earn and he funded the Watchdogs in their mission to eliminate them, gaining the title of the Superior. As part of his mission to wipe out the Inhumans, Ivanov organized the Blackout Attack which was thwarted by S.H.I.E.L.D.. Ivanov supported the work of Senator Ellen Nadeer, but gave her an order to execute her own brother when he underwent Terrigenesis. Nadeer at first refused, so Ivanov sent Tucker Shockley to complete the work, until Nadeer shot and seemingly killed her brother as ordered.
Work with Holden Radcliffe
- "The old ways are better, simple, built to last. Like this submarine. Modern machines all software, no hardware, you put too much faith in them. Man is the superior machine, and I, am the superior man. I am told you refuse to talk, and that you welcome pain. I, too, love pain, and I love to make others feel it."
- ―Superior to Billy Koenig[src]
With the assistance of Holden Radcliffe, the Superior learned of the location of the Darkhold, which could help win their war against the Inhumans. Having kidnapped the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Billy Koenig who had already hidden the book, Superior had Radcliffe pretend to be held hostage beside Koenig and greeted them both. Superior had made it clear that they were to cooperate with him or die a horrifically painful death, while he drank his vodka and discussed its taste.
Superior told Koenig that S.H.I.E.L.D. put too much faith in machines and that man was the superior machine, removing his jacket while he claimed that he was the superior man. Superior had then noted how he had been told that Koenig refused to talk and welcomed pain, so he smashed his glass and prepared to cut out his eye while Radcliffe watched, telling him that he enjoyed causing people pain. However, Radcliffe stopped him, reminding Superior that Senator Ellen Nadeer had already promised that Koenig would not be harmed in a way that would cause permanent damage during their interrogation of him.
The Superior then watched as Radcliffe used the Framework to scan Koenig's mind. When Superior questioned if the Darkhold was truly worth all this work, Radcliffe assured him that it held the answers to wiping out the Inhumans and would also help Radcliffe build a better world. While both Superior and Tucker Shockley became impatient, waiting for the machine to finish its work, Aida assured them it would be done soon and Radcliffe questioned their hatred of the Inhumans. Superior explained he hated how the Inhumans gained a great power without actually earning it, which had personally enraged him.
Just as Superior vowed to destroy the thing which had brought these Inhumans, Aida then revealed that the scan was complete. Shockley removed Koenig while Radcliffe wore the Framework and then began searching for all the answers about where the Darkhold was. Despite some false alarms and seeing Koenig hand the Darkhold over to Sam Koenig, eventually, Radcliffe had learned it had gone back to him and it was stored into the Labyrinth. However, unconvinced by Radcliffe's faith with machines, Superior got his knives as he prepared to torture the information out of Koenig using his own torturous methods.
However, just as Superior ordered Radcliffe and Aida to be removed, Aida fought back and used superhuman strength to kill Leo Babikov by punching through his stomach and ripping out his insides, before she proceeded to crush Shockley's hand. As Superior then furiously confronted Radcliffe for bringing an Inhuman onto his submarine, as Radcliffe corrected him, and revealed that Aida was in fact his Life-Model Decoy robot. Superior became highly impressed by Radcliffe's creation and when Radcliffe yet again ordered that the submarine be turned around, Superior agreed with a simple nod of the head.
Gaining the Darkhold
Having returned into his submarine having completed their mission to successfully steal away the Darkhold book away from S.H.I.E.L.D. at the Labyrinth, Superior had drunk vodka with both Doctor Holden Radcliffe and Tucker Shockley, complimenting them on the successful mission. Taking the vodka, Radcliffe had noted that Superior was correct that it did taste better when drunk with the onions, with Superior once again noting that the old ways were still always the best.
When Radcliffe had questioned Superior about the thing that brought the Inhumans onto Earth that he mentioned earlier, Superior revealed he was referring to Phil Coulson, who had been at every recent major event, involving an alien attack, from the last few years, including the battle in the Labyrinth the night before. Superior had blamed Coulson for the recent Chitauri and Kree attacks against Earth, noting how he had even somehow returned from the dead. Radcliffe then confirmed that Coulson was not dead and then agreed to assist Superior in his mission to find and kill Coulson and finally end the alien threat.
Superior allowed Radcliffe to continue working on his Framework as, while Radcliffe slept during the night, the Superior read the Darkhold, being told the way to wipe out the Inhumans was through Radcliffe. Once Radcliffe and Aida returned, the Superior revealed what he had done much to Radcliffe's horror, as he had insisted on being the only one to examine the Darkhold. Superior, however, then explained that he had only glanced at those pages and been told that Radcliffe was the solution to his and the Watchdogs' own plans to create the better world without Inhumans once they had wiped them from the Earth.
They discussed destroying S.H.I.E.L.D., and Radcliffe then informed Superior that although Inhumans were difficult to come by, he had his solution, revealing that he had a stockpile of Terrigen Crystals which he had obtained during his recent time with Hive whom he explained had the opposite goals from Superior. Radcliffe explained that he had improved the compounds so the Terrigen Mist within was completely harmless to humans, but would cause Terrigenesis with any potential Inhumans exposed to it, with Superior noting that they were counting on that being the case in order to continue their own schemes.
Superior sent in Tucker Shockley to use the Terrigen Crystals against Senator Ellen Nadeer, in order to see if she was Inhuman. However, it seemingly triggered a massive explosion, which had killed Nadeer as well as her staff. Once Shockley returned, having somehow survived, Superior furiously confronted him over Nadeer's death. Shockley claimed Nadeer underwent a Terrigenesis, and exploded, blaming it on Holden Radcliffe's crystals being faulty, although he said he could not remember how he survived the blast. When Superior asked how he could trust him, Shockley said that Superior was his superior.
Accepting this, Superior released Shockley and hugged him, claiming this was all he needed to hear. Superior informed him that he planned to leave the United States of America, since he knew Radcliffe would soon be found by S.H.I.E.L.D. and therefore it was too dangerous for him to stay. While Superior left to return to the Watchdogs Submarine to hide out, Shockley volunteered to stay behind in order to confront S.H.I.E.L.D. when they arrived, vowing to soon kill them all. Superior accepted this and left, leaving his men to be captured by Quake, and other agents while he and the others Watchdogs then got away.
While on the road, Superior was contacted by Shockley who made a confession: that Nadeer had not been the one who had undergone a Terrigenesis, but he had, becoming the Inhuman that he despised so much. Although Superior had instantly rejected Shockley as a result, he was told that Shockley still intended to be a soldier fighting for the lives of the Humans, so Superior had then continued to listen to him. Shockley had then vowed to bring S.H.I.E.L.D. to the Watchdogs and help them attack, using his new powers to blow up the cafe to attract S.H.I.E.L.D.'s attention while Superior and his men came to him.
As part of the plan, Shockley had a showdown with Quake, in which she used her powers to continually cause him to explode, as a tactic to distract her while the Watchdogs made their approach to confront and kill Quake. However, their convoy was attacked by Patriot, who used his own incredible strength to stop Superior's jeep in its tracks. While Shockley was then being recaptured by Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons, Superior greeted Patriot as he ordered all his men to take the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. into their custody, using their Taser Rods, to then subdue Patriot, while Superior had calmly watched on.
Testing a Director
With Director Jeffrey Mace now as his hostage, the Superior removed his Patriot Suit, and had it taken into Nome, in order for it to become discovered along with his obsessive wall depicting the actions of Phil Coulson throughout his years, as Superior's way of tormenting his enemy, as well as revealing his control of their situation. While Coulson followed his leads, Superior then continued with his own plans in the base, looking over his men and the Watchdogs Submarine, ensuring that everything was still running smoothly for his own men.
Returning inside his submarine, Superior found Holden Radcliffe in a sleep state, while locked inside their Framework. When Superior had then attempted to pull Radcliffe out of the Framework, to speak with him, Aida reappeared and stopped him by grabbing ahold of his arm, warning that this could damage his brain. Superior had demanded to have his arm back so they could speak with Radcliffe, refusing to talk to Aida at all, forcing her to comply with her command and unlocked Radcliffe's mind from the Framework, much to Radcliffe's annoyance until he realized Superior was wishing to speak privately to him.
With Radcliffe now free, Superior told him he spent too much time in the Framework, while Radcliffe instead argued that he worked better when left alone, also noting that he had completed much of the work required by Superior and the Watchdogs. When Radcliffe noted that Aida was on hand to assist, Superior reminded him that they did not made his deal with a Life-Model Decoy, but a scientist. Radcliffe then logged back into the Framework, promising that Superior would get what he wanted, with Superior threatening to both Radcliffe and Aida that he better get it, before then leaving the Watchdogs Submarine.
Having now learned that Mace was not actually an Inhuman, as was believed, as he had been using the modified version of Calvin Zabo's Formula to gain his own powers, Superior allowed him to escape his cell, using the remaining amounts of Patriot Serum he had left within his veins, as Mace broke through his chains and subdued one single guard. Having allowed Mace to break free, Superior then greeted him in the hallway of his base as Mace had tried to place him under arrest under S.H.I.E.L.D.'s leadership for all his, as well as their Watchdogs' terrorist crimes against both the humans and the Inhumans alike.
However, Superior confidently noted that Mace had no power left to arrest him, as he had just used the last of all his own strength to free himself from his own chains and subdue the one guard Superior had left for him. As Mace charged forward with full confidence, he struck Superior in the chest, only for the Superior to then prove that he had enough real strength to absorb the blow before dodging Mace's offer attacks with ease. Mace continued to fight back, but Superior used his own superior SVR training to subdue the Director and then knock him out before having him dragged back inside his prison cell.
Torturing Jeffrey Mace
- "Behind Nick Fury, Stark, all of it, stands Agent Coulson, quietly pursuing his alien agenda."
"Conspiracy theories... from the man who literally mounted a conspiracy to have men in masks kill Inhumans."
"I'm closing the door he opened – allowing alien races to infect our world and convincing men like you to protect them. And I will make you admit, to me and yourself, that this is true."
- ―Superior and Jeffrey Mace[src]
Taking Jeffrey Mace back to his cell, Superior waited for him to wake up, before telling him the story about how his family, and how this shaped his outlook on his. Superior compared this to Mace, who allowed Glenn Talbot to inject his body with all their poisonous Patriot Serum, which was now destroying his body. Superior then proved his point by digging a knife into Mace's chest, drawing blood from the seeming indestructible director. When Mace noted his men would come for him, Superior said he was waiting.
As Superior left their cell, Aida greeted him to report on how his work in interrogating Mace was going. When Aida made her reference to a metaphor, Superior made not that these Life-Model Decoys were still impressing him even now. Superior then questioned if his methods in interrogating Mace disturbed Aida, to which Aida acknowledged that Superior's methods for interrogation were unusual for her. Aida then questioned when Superior would be finished with Director Mace, at which point he claimed even filth could still have a purpose, sexually touching Aida's face before he had simply walked away from her.
Knowing that Phil Coulson was now in Nome, having discovered the corpses of his fallen SVR comrades, Superior had called up Coulson, having left a phone is the mouth of his friend. As they spoke to each other, Coulson blamed Superior for having Melinda May, and others kidnapped while Superior blamed Coulson for the deaths of his allies searching for an 0-8-4 years earlier. Despite Coulson insisting that he did not kill them, Superior noted that they were killed because of him and what he did all those years ago, noting he dug up all their bodies to pay his respects, promising that he would kill Coulson's allies.
Having hung up on their call, Superior turned his attention back onto Mace, as he had noted how Coulson hid behind S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as Tony Stark and the Avengers while he had continued to pursue his secret alien agenda. However, Mace noted that Superior was merely pursuing an insane conspiracy theory which had since been installed into the Watchdogs who had since then used that hate to hunt down the Inhumans. Superior, however, insisted that Coulson had opened up a world and allowed aliens onto the planet, vowing to make Mace and Coulson finally confess all of their true sins to him very soon.
Walking around him, Superior gave Director Mace his final chance to finally denounce S.H.I.E.L.D. and confess to any last regrets he may have. However, Mace insisted that he still believed in Coulson as well as S.H.I.E.L.D. to protect their Earth. Mace noted that while Superior claimed to protect the Humans, he had clearly lost his own humanity many years ago. As a result, Superior had claimed to respect Mace's choice as he untied him. However, he then walked away from his cell, leaving several of his own Watchdogs to then beat him to death while he was gone, casually walking away while this was happening.
Showdown with S.H.I.E.L.D.
As S.H.I.E.L.D. agents stormed inside his base, Superior waited for a chance to finally confront Phil Coulson. Finding Coulson shooting his men with an I.C.E.R., Superior had moved forward and disarmed him before knocking him onto the floor, noting that he had waited a long time for a face to face with the agent, while Coulson mocked Superior's efforts, by questioning if he had brought him flowers, claiming that he was more than capable to take care of himself. Pointing to his Prosthetic Hand, the Superior noted that Coulson had enhanced himself as well as many others to give himself an edge in their fight.
Superior had explained that throughout his research in understanding the alien threats like the Chitauri Invasion, Coulson had been the one thread through it all, while Coulson had realized Superior was one of the SVR agents he had encountered, while searching for the Russian 0-8-4 years earlier. Superior explained that his unit had been tortured and killed for failing to claim that 0-8-4, which he blamed S.H.I.E.L.D. and Coulson for. However, Coulson had demanded to know where he could locate Melinda May, as well as Jeffrey Mace, while the Superior continued to play all his mocking mind games against Coulson.
Coulson told Superior that he did not even remember what the 0-8-4 was, which had killed all the SVR agents, while he called the Superior another Redshirt, who would fail to stop him from saving their world. As they were speaking, Quake burst through the doors and Coulson left them alone, noting that Quake's main missions for those last few months was stopping the Watchdogs. With Superior and Quake now alone, he challenged her to fight against him, only for Quake to strike him with a shockwave which sent Superior flying backwards and into a pillar with incredibly painful force, which he soon recovered from.
Superior soon recovered, as Quake explained that she had followed the Watchdogs through all their crimes, funding and deals with Ellen Nadeer until she had found Superior, who had insisted that they stop talking and begin to fight, while he drew his knives. Superior threw a blade at Quake, who struck him with another shockwave, despite the Superior's knife embedded in her shoulder. Superior and Quake then recovered and continued their fight, with Superior using his blades to try and cut her, claiming that being one of the powerful Inhumans just made her a cheat in the fight due to her own superhuman powers.
Superior managed to maintain his good fight throughout their battles, despite Quake using her Quake Gauntlets to block his blades as she had even taking a headbutt without slowing down. However, despite Superior noting that he had trained for a long time in order to face an Inhuman and kill it with his bare hands, Quake told him that the game had changed, before striking him with yet another shockwave. While Superior quickly got back to his feet, Quake fired another shockwave which destroyed the pillar he was standing by, causing rubble to then collapse and crush Superior as Quake escaped to rejoin her allies.
While Superior remained unconscious and barely breathing under all of the rubble, S.H.I.E.L.D. had still continued on the mission, despite unknowingly having their top agents replaced by Life-Model Decoys, while Holden Radcliffe managed to escape onboard the Watchdogs Submarine with the now recaptured agents. With the Superior hardly breathing, Aida arrived and confirmed he was alive, before updating the unconscious Superior on their plans, telling him he would still be important before repeating his comments about the filth still having a purpose. Aida then took Superior back onto their Submarine.
Saved from his Death
Due to his battle against Quake, Superior was mortally wounded and found himself unable to move below his waist. He then was cared for by Aida who played Superior's favorite song by The Moody Blues, as Superior claimed he thought this was a good song to be born to, or maybe for him to die too. Aida told Superior that he would not die, with Superior warning that he did not want to live the rest of his life as a broken cripple.
Superior had also furiously claimed that he would not allow his body to be replaced by a Life-Model Decoy like her as this disgusted him, or be locked inside the Framework as he had seen it as an addiction held by Holden Radcliffe, with this excitement causing Superior great pain as he collapsed back with his heart raising. Aida, however, told Superior that he would become many things before lifting up a large electric saw while Superior could only watch in complete utter horror, incapable of getting away. Aida then lowered that blade to Superior's flesh and cut away, causing Superior to scream out in utter agony.
As Superior endured horrendous pain, Aida tore his body apart piece by piece with her electric saw, all while still keeping him alive for all of her own schemes. Eventually, she cut off his head and kept the brain alive, giving it remote control over the robotic duplicate of Superior's old body. Eventually, Superior awoke, seemingly finding his body was repaired and able to move again, making him, at first, believe he had been locked inside of the Framework, which had infuriated him as he then confronted Aida and grabbed her by the throat in his bitter rage, furiously reminding her that this is not what he wanted for himself.
Aida, however, calmly informed Superior of what had just happened, explaining that his body was now mechanical while his mind was not, showing him his own severed head, and noting that his strength had now been enhanced. Aida explained she had discovered how to do it by reading the Darkhold, and explained that she needed Superior to continue to live and be walking around in order for him to protect the Framework. Aida noted that Superior was now a machine, that could still feel all the emotions such as love and anger, which was what she intended to find for herself, and needed Superior's help to do so.
When Jeffrey Mace lost his life within the Framework, Superior had then crushed his bones with his hammer and dumped his body in the sea, making it appear that Quake had murdered him. Superior had remained beside those logged inside the Framework when he was joined by Aida, who logged herself out as her avatar had been injured from an encounter with Quake. Superior noted his surprise at seeing any machine being on edge as those inside the Framework, including Melinda May, were now questioning the narrative that she had been given to survive in their Framework, as Superior noting that she was still human and so would fight back.
While Aida had said this was nothing but a complicated situation, the Superior drew a gun and then attempted to shoot May, explaining he would make their situations less complicated. To Superior's surprise, however, he found he was incapable of firing. Superior demanded an explanation, as he was told his body also still had Holden Radcliffe's parameters, which meant they both still had to protect all the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. while they were logged inside the Framework, with the now furious Superior noted that this meant they were both powerless to do anything, due to all of their current robotic programmings.
Aida, however, told Superior that their Framework was in danger due to the actions of both Jemma Simmons and Daisy Johnson, who the Superior had remembered as the Inhuman who had crippled his body during their previous fight. Aida went on to note they had hacked into the Framework, and were now attempting to dismantle it all from the inside, and therefore needed to die, so Superior was ordered to find their location to kill them. Desiring nothing more than a chance to get his own revenge against Quake, Superior noted that due to their last encounter, he would do this mission with great personal pleasure.
While his Watchdogs soldiers continued working on Project Looking Glass for Aida, Superior became distracted and picked up one of his knives from a table. Superior then went up to Phil Coulson, who was still locked inside of the Framework with the others, as Superior had then attempted to drive his knives into Coulson's throat, still seeking revenge for the deaths of his allies in the SVR. Superior found himself once again incapable of killing Coulson, and so he furiously promised that once the machines had freed him from the parameters that were keeping him from killing, he then would slice open Coulson's throat.
While he stood by the machine, Superior took a shot of vodka with a slice of onion, only to furiously realize it did not have the same effect with his new robotic body, smashing the glass onto the ground. Aida rejoined him and told him that the final specifications for the machine were almost ready, as Superior confirmed it would remove all of their current perimeters. Superior then explained that the Watchdogs had found Zephyr One, which held Simmons and Quake, promising that once they got a lock onto the ship, they would soon shoot it out from the sky and finally claim their own victory against S.H.I.E.L.D..
Return of the Agents
While still inside the Ivanov Oil Platform, Superior spent some of his time reading through the Darkhold alongside one of his own robotic doubles. While reading the book, Superior had noted that the book actually had some amusing sections. Hearing a noise, the Superior questioned if Aida had finally used the Project Looking Glass to turn herself human, only to get frustrated at the fact that he could only speak with his doubles, then walked away.
To his shock, however, Superior then discovered that Aida had in fact turned herself into an Inhuman and teleported from the platform with Leo Fitz. The Superior had greeted Phil Coulson and Melinda May, as they had both just been removed from the Framework, and had also witnessed Aida leaving the platform with Fitz, as Superior noted that now they were free of the Framework, he was no long restricted from killing them. Upon seeing the leader of the Watchdogs, Coulson told May to shoot at him, which she did, only to discover his robotic body was now immune to pain as he then moved towards them both.
Superior had quickly subdued the shocked May with a strong blow to the face before pushing Coulson against the wall and placing his gun underneath his chin, preparing to finally get his revenge on the man he had hunted for so long. As Superior then prepared to kill his enemy, he mocked Coulson for no longer having S.H.I.E.L.D. to hide behind. Coulson then activated the Energy Shield on his Prosthetic Hand, which cut right through Superior's robotic face, and revealed his Quantum Brain, leaving his body to fall lifelessly onto the ground while Coulson and May recovered from the brief but brutal fight.
However, Superior just activated his other Life-Model Decoy bodies, as the two versions of himself then greeted the horrified Coulson and May, who responded by locking themselves into the room to try and hide away from Superior, for as long as possible. While Coulson and May attempted to figure out a way to defend themselves, Superior's two bodies worked together to hack into the door and then get back inside, intending to beat the two agents to death. Upon entering their room, Superior only found Alphonso Mackenzie inside, still logged in the Framework, as Coulson and May were nowhere to be seen.
Superior discovered that May had used Epinephrine, to enhance her adrenaline as she charged out of the shadows and attacked Superior along with Coulson. The two Superiors then fought against May and Coulson, unaffected by their blows, but soon found out that the pair were superior fighters, as May soon disarmed the Superior she was fighting while Coulson kept the upper hand. Eventually, Coulson had succeeded in electrocuting one of the robotic bodies, killing it, while May crushed the other Superior's head with her hammer, by furiously striking him before collapsing, exhausted from the Epinephrine.
However, their battle was merely the distraction for the agents, as the fourth Superior body was having the Watchdogs load his equipment onto the Watchdogs Submarine. Once all of the key equipment was onboard, Superior had then ordered his men to detach the Submarine from the Ivanov Oil Platform, and launch their torpedoes, noting that he would miss the base. As Superior escaped, his men had fired the torpedoes at the oil platform as he left his enemies to drown.
As Superior walked through the Submarine, Aida had then teleported before him and demanded that he and his men immediately stop the attack and save the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. As Aida begged him to stop, the Superior only mocked her, by telling her that she would never be closer to a human, and noting that this situation was ironic. Aida then attempted to order him to stop, but the Superior simply reminded her that she no longer could control him, noting this would bring him the joy he desired and that she did not stop him crushing Director Jeffrey Mace's bones, although she argued she did not feel empathy then.
Superior teased Aida by calling her a child, while noting that she had not experienced the thrill of killing, resulting in her grabbing his throat and pushing him against the wall. Aida threatened to kill Superior, but he had instead simply noted that it was just one of many of their Life-Model Decoy bodies that she could destroy, as his brain was hidden from her. As they heard more torpedoes being launched, the Superior reminded Aida that his plan to kill Phil Coulson and Melinda May was already underway, forcing her to then teleport herself away from their Submarine, as she had gone to attempt to save herself instead.
Having been rejected by Leo Fitz, Aida returned into their Watchdogs Submarine, as Superior greeted her, noting that she still did not know how to handle the pain from heartbreak, despite her Inhuman power. Superior instead offered her a glass of his vodka as Aida claimed that being human was to suffer, although Superior noted that she was not fully human. Superior noted that, having read the Darkhold, he knew there were things far beyond a human, while Aida had screamed out in a rage that she was nothing but torn and twisted, as Superior then seductively offered to help her to feel something else instead.
Superior told Aida that the Darkhold had given him the way to rebuild the world from within their Framework in reality, giving her the control over HYDRA that she had in there and where Inhumans were hunted. Aida expressed a desire to make the Inhumans suffer, before ripping open the Superior's shirt, kissing him and pushing him sexually down onto the floor, before then repeatedly slamming his head against the ground, crushing his Quantum Brain, until he was dead. Another one of the Superior's many robotic bodies, a fifth body, had watched this before asking if Aida had felt better after killing that robotic body.
Ghost Rider's Attack
While moving all of the equipment, Superior laughed over Aida's new emotions, causing her to furiously grab him by the throat and pin him against the wall, threatening to rip out his robotic insides out from his body. Superior called all her new emotions sweet while all his other Life-Model Decoys backed him up, along with Sergei Mishkin, who noted that Aida was the one who had designed and built all of them, something which she had claimed to now regret having done.
Having listened closely, Superior noted her use of the word regret, as he reminded her that she and Holden Radcliffe had built their empire within HYDRA inside that Framework by removing all of the regrets of those inside it, but now she claimed to want to burn that world to the ground. When Superior noted that he thought Aida wanted to rule the world, she claimed that she would not be reckless and would instead use the information given to them by the Darkhold, to ensure that the world of the Framework was recreated, and that S.H.I.E.L.D. had also suffered for everything that they had done against both of them.
Just as Aida vowed to make Leo Fitz suffer more than anybody else, for having rejecting her love, they were then interrupted by the arrival of the Hell Charger pulling up inside of their warehouse, with the tires burning. While one of the Superior's doubles escaped the facility, the other was challenged by Robbie Reyes who demanded the Darkhold. The Superior and Mishkin challenged Reyes together who proceeded to use the powers of the Spirit of Vengeance to swiftly subdue them, throwing Superior against a wall with incredible force while Aida used her new powers to escape before the Ghost Rider could kill her.
Back onboard the Watchdogs Submarine, the Superior attempted to check Aida's wounded arm, which had been burned by Ghost Rider while using his Hellfire Chain, and had not been healing as quickly as Aida's Inhuman powers should. Superior deduced that a Ghost Rider was born from the same place within the Multiverse that Aida's new body was, and that was the reason he was able to seriously wound, and possibly kill her, noting that from now on she would have to be a lot more careful not to come back into a conflict with the Ghost Rider for her own safety, something which had clearly unnerved Aida.
As they had prepared to go to a meeting with Glenn Talbot to discuss all of these recent events involving Inhumans seemingly attacking the country, including the Siege of the Playground which was now being blamed on Quake, the Superior helped Mishkin with a tie, noting that they both looked fantastic. As they prepared to leave their Submarine together, Aida had warned Superior not to disappoint them, although he just insisted that they would recreate the Inhuman fearing world of the Framework inside of the real world, simply to please her. Superior then put the Darkhold inside of his bag and left for the meeting.
- "Enough! For decades, we have turned a blind eye to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s indifference to the rule of law. They claim to be a spy agency but behave more like a secret police, leaving destruction and chaos in their wake. But of all their dangerous policies, there is one that threatens our very survival. It is their secret program of breeding, recruiting, and weaponizing Inhumans."
- ―Superior to Glenn Talbot[src]
During thei meeting with Brigadier General Glenn Talbot, Superior got to his feet, and claimed that they had spent decades turning a blind eye to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s activities, claiming that they had been working outside from the laws and left destruction and chaos in their wake, noting that their worst crime was weaponizing Inhumans into teams like the Secret Warriors. Talbot furiously rose up to his feet and had insisted that Superior was lying, but Superior asked that he be allowed to finish, claiming to have the solution.
Taking the Darkhold out of his bag, Superior promised that the book contained their secrets to defeating S.H.I.E.L.D. and these Inhumans, although Talbot compared this theory to L. Ron Hubbard. They were suddenly interrupted, however, by Daisy Johnson, who stormed into the room armed with her gun. When Talbot tried to address Johnson, she fired a single shot into his skull, very nearly killing him. Although he was secretly aware the Johnson they saw shooting General Talbot was a Life-Model Decoy, Superior then used this as a chance to drive the people against both S.H.I.E.L.D. and all of these Inhumans.
Just as Superior and Sergei Mishkin insisted that everyone there had to read the Darkhold and see these answers for themselves, Superior and Mishkin were shot at by Phil Coulson and Melinda May who had then charged in having heard all those gunshots. Having survived the bullets due to their robotic bodies, Superior and Mishkin escaped the room while the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents ran up to General Talbot's aid and then found themselves being threatened by the United States Armed Forces due to belief that they were responsible for the attack, just as Superior had actually been secretly planning from the beginning.
Having avoided much of the fight, Superior had discovered Quake in the middle of a battle against more of the Life-Model Decoys, having just destroyed Mishkin's body as well as a robotic security guard and then witnessed Aida escape using her own newly gained teleporting powers. Superior stepped in the room and immediately threw one of his knives at Quake, stabbing her in the shoulder. Feeling confident, Superior then reminded Quake that even if she destroyed his current body, he would simply build another body, and keep coming, vowing that she nor S.H.I.E.L.D. could stop him from completing his plans.
Quake told Superior that he really should never claim he could not be stopped as this always meant he would then be stopped. At that very moment, Superior had the Hellfire Chain wrapped all around his body before Ghost Rider then pulled him across the air, burning his robotic body. Just as the Superior was flying through the air, Quake fired one of her shockwaves at him which caused Superior's Life-Model Decoy sixth body to become torn apart. However, Superior's main head and brain remained hidden, allowing him to get away, while Aida was also found by the Spirit of Vengeance before then being destroyed.
Working for HYDRA
Reunion with Old Enemies
- "Humanity still stands threatened. I will ensure this planet's survival for generations. But Hale is an important part of that."
"So you're the one holding her leash?"
"You will bring her to me. Or Mr. Creel will blow this lovely plane out of the sky. He and I will survive, of course, but I am less confident about your chances."
- ―Anton Ivanov and Phil Coulson[src]
Eventually the Superior's severed head and brain had been obtained by General Hale, Superior was forced into her services, knowing that they were protecting humanity from an extinction level event. When Hale had been captured by S.H.I.E.L.D., the Superior arrived onboard Zephyr One to ensure her freedom, with the Absorbing Man also onboard, threatening to blow up the plane if they did not obey their instructions to allow Superior to arrive and free Hale from her cell.
Superior was greeted by Phil Coulson, who held him at gunpoint, as Superior noted that Coulson should not have hoped to have seen the last of him. Superior and Coulson then discussed if he still believed himself to be the superior man, to which Superior claimed that since gaining his Life-Model Decoy body he had redefined what it meant to be superior, noting that parts of him would always be human while he remained stronger and immortal. Superior claimed that humanity was threatened as he then demanded that they hand over Hale, promising that Carl Creel would destroy their plane if they did not obey him.
Eventually, Hale had arrived while being protected by Creel, standing by Superior, while Coulson accused Hale of working with a terrorist like Superior, he also claimed that it was the Superior who had been responsible for shooting of Brigadier General Glenn Talbot, which Creel insisted was not the case as he noted Daisy Johnson was the one who had shot Talbot. Hale, however, then pointed out that the Superior himself was an android built from Leo Fitz's designs, while offering to take him apart to prove it. Superior watched as Coulson had agreed to go with Hale, in exchange for the safety of his agents, despite all of Melinda May's fierce objections to the contrary.
Once onboard the Quinjet, Hale took over the controls while Superior ordered Coulson to put on a mask and hand over his own Prosthetic Hand to be scanned for weapons. Superior listened as Coulson tried to convince Creel that he was on the wrong side before turning back to Superior and questioning why his Sleeper Mechs did not have his face, with Superior claiming that the Mechs were nothing more than soldiers. Coulson theorised that when Aida was killed, Superior had also lost the ability to make more Life-Model Decoys. When Coulson had claimed Hale must have something over him, she had confessed that she currently had possession of Superior's severed head.
Protecting the Chamber
Following the direct orders of General Hale, the Superior, with his real head attached to his last remaining Life-Model Decoy body, was sent into the HYDRA Herefordshire Facility, where Brigadier General Glenn Talbot had finally revealed that their Particle Infusion Chamber was located following the Destruction of HYDRA, which Hale wanted to use to enhance all Ruby Hale's abilities with the Gravitonium. Upon arriving at their facility, Superior ordered his team of Sleeper Mechs to head inside of the facility in order to search for the Chamber.
Before long, Superior's soldiers located the Chamber and secured it, so Superior called Hale at her facility to tell her of their success. Hale noted that she would join the Superior once Werner von Strucker had finished writing out Baron Wolfgang von Strucker's detailed plans for the device. When Superior reminded Hale of her promise to him, she reassured Superior that he would have his own chance to step in the Chamber himself, and become the Superior man. Their conversation was cut short, however, when an explosion was heard in their facility, as Superior and his soldiers went to investigate the explosion.
Showdown with Yo-Yo Rodriguez
The explosion was soon revealed to have been caused by the arrival of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who had come to steal the Particle Infusion Chamber, before HYDRA could get their hands onto it, and use it for their own purposes. While Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons were being held down with the tense shootout against his own squad of Sleeper Mechs, Superior stopped and confronted Yo-Yo Rodriguez. Drawing out his knives, Superior then began to fight against Rodriguez, furiously slashing at her as Rodriguez avoided all his hits and tried to hit back against him.
Looking at her new Prosthetic Arms, the Superior commented that he had heard about Ruby Hale maiming Rodriguez, during her previous mission, comparing himself to Rodriguez by noting that she was also now part machine. Rodriguez, however, noted that she was not part machine where it had mattered and furiously fought back against the arrogant Superior, with Superior knocking Rodriguez onto the ground and noting that he no longer felt pain as he had already died dozens of times, noting Rodriguez would not get the same second chances, as he got if she was killed, before furiously attacking her again.
However, Rodriguez refused to give up the fight, fighting back with all her S.H.I.E.L.D. training, despite no longer actually being able to use her Inhuman power but with her new enhanced strength from her two Prosthetic Arms, as she had managed to push Superior away before then picking up one of his discarded knives from the floor and began slashing back at him. With Superior now on the defence, Rodriguez proceeded to use this to her advantage as she pushed him down the facility's corridors, before managing to slice open his chest, revealing the Life-Model Decoy implants hidden underneath his own skin.
Seeing his weakness exposed, Rodriguez commented that Superior was still part machine before she then grabbed ahold of his head and furiously pushed Superior out of the nearby window, as they both fell several floors down to the ground. Upon landing, Superior died on impact when his skull smashed against the concrete while Rodriguez was only mildly injured due to using Superior's body to cushion their fall. Superior's death resulted in all of the nearby Sleeper Mechs then also shutting down, as their controller was no longer active, allowing Fitz and Simmons to survive their shootout against the robots.
- "You see, there is something lower than scum. That which strives to be it. Like you. You allow S.H.I.E.L.D. to fill your veins with poison and parade you around as an example. Of what? S.H.I.E.L.D. claims to be a beacon for humanity, what it really is is a safe haven for Inhumanity."
- ―Superior to Jeffrey Mace[src]
As a young boy, he greatly admired his abusive father because he worked hard for what he earned. But all of this was lost upon seeing him sucking up to a wealthy man who inherited his fortune. This gave him a sense of just that people would work for what they want to achieve and it should never be given to them. This could be one of the reasons why he views Inhumans in a hateful perspective and even thinks of them as abominations, calling them genetic cheaters because they inherited their abilities.
Initially, Ivanov despised robots and androids of all kinds, viewing them as mere machines which were fallible and would never best human beings, who he considered to be superior machines. However, when he himself was turned into a set of Life-Model Decoys controlled by his human severed head so he could survive, Ivanov's views on the matter changed and he eventually considered this new way of living a solution to achieve immense strength and immortality, and thus to remain what he called a "superior man."
Powers and Abilities
- Android Bodies: Ivanov has control over various of his own Life-Model Decoy duplicates, all of which are remotely controlled by his own human brain and through which he can experience perception. When Ivanov lost access to the machinery to build more identical robot bodies of himself, he resorted to controlling Sleeper Mechs, which worked in the same way, but did not have his face or voice while the Mechs all worked as General Hale's personal bodyguards and enforcers.
- Hive Mind System: Ivanov's crippled body was experimented on by Aida and managed to keep his own biological brain alive inside a device created with knowledge derived from the ancient book of spells called the Darkhold. It also gave Ivanov remote control over all of his robotic duplicates.
- Enhanced Strength: Aida commented on him having superior physical strength. All of his Life-Model Decoys have enhanced strength.
- Pain Immunity: While battling Melinda May and Phil Coulson, Ivanov demonstrated that his Life-Model Decoy bodies are impervious to physical pain.
- Expert Tactician: Upon learning of the new Inhuman Outbreak, Superior was disgusted by the notion of Inhumans gaining power they did not earn and he led the Watchdogs, becoming the Superior in the process, and leading the entire organization from the shadows. As part of his mission to wipe out the Inhumans, Superior organized many missions against the Inhumans, including the Blackout Attack which was thwarted by S.H.I.E.L.D..
- Expert Combatant: As a former member of the SVR, Superior is highly trained in multiple fighting styles. While leading the Watchdogs, he trained himself to be a fierce combatant, being able to go fight Quake, Ghost Rider and Melinda May.
- Knife Mastery: Superior demonstrates great skill in the use of knives both as close quarters blades and as thrown projectiles.
- Bilingualism: Superior is fluent in his native Russian, as well as in English.
- Superior's Knives: Ivanov carries an arsenal of knives, which he uses as both a close quarters weapon and as a projectile. He used several of these to torture Jeffrey Mace, and he utilized them again to great effect in combat with the Inhuman Quake, succeeding in injuring the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
- Makarov PM: Ivanov carried this handgun in his Life-Model Decoy body, and drew it in an attempt to execute a Melinda May while she was connected to Framework. However, he was unable to fire due to parameters set by Aida, that required her to be protected. As soon as the restrictions were lifted, he went to attack Phil Coulson, and was about to shoot him in the face, but Coulson destroyed the LMD with his Energy Shield.
- AKM: The SVR unit that Ivanov belonged to carried these assault rifles when they were sent to retrieve the item found at the Burkov Mining Facility. They held Phil Coulson at gunpoint, who had infiltrated the facility under the excuse of working for the United Nations, and then used them when Melinda May went to rescue him, unable to prevent her from doing so.
- I.C.E.R.: During his second encounter with Phil Coulson, the Superior was able to ambush and disarm him, before he took away his I.C.E.R., which he then proceeded to dismantle and throw aside.
- Terrigen Crystals: Through his work with Holden Radcliffe, the Superior had been supplied with his cases of Terrigen Crystals, which Radcliffe had previously obtained from Hive. As he had observed all these Crystals for himself, the Superior had then given one to Tucker Shockley, in order for them to test if Ellen Nadeer was an Inhuman, like her own brother had been.
- Darkhold: The Superior had become convinced by Radcliffe to kidnap Billy Koenig, so that they could then obtain the current location of the Darkhold, which Radcliffe had promised could help the Watchdogs to destroy the Inhumans. Once he gained the Darkhold, the Superior would often read from it, much to Radcliffe's annoyance, as the Superior also noted that the book contained some amusing passages. While he had continued to work with Aida to eliminate the Inhumans, the Superior attempted to convince Glenn Talbot to read the book and follow it's teachings, only to lose it when S.H.I.E.L.D. had then arrived and caused a firefight.
- Framework Headset: Following his near death experience at the hands of Quake, the Superior's head had been removed by Aida and placed inside of a jar, where it was also given one of the Framework Headsets, allowing the Superior to gain control of several Life-Model Decoy bodies of himself, which he could control simultaneously, using his brain power from within the jar.
- Sleeper Mechs: Following the demise of Aida, the Superior had been unable to continue making any more realistic Life-Model Decoys of himself, so he was forced to turn to Hale, who provided him with an army of Sleeper Mechs, which he could continue to control remotely. The Superior used these Mechs on numerous missions with Ruby Hale, as well as them being used as bodyguards, until his demise, at which point all the Mechs shut down.
This section requires expansion
- Particle Infusion Chamber: To be added
This section requires expansion
This section requires expansion
- Superior's Submarine Base: To be added
- Ivanov Oil Platform: To be added
- HYDRA Herefordshire Facility: To be added
|Appearances for Anton Ivanov|
In chronological order:
- In the comics, Anton is the seventh person who wears the mantle of the Red Guardian, the Soviet counterpart of Captain America. Unbeknownst to anyone, Anton is actually a Life-Model Decoy, and after he was decapitated by an alien, his head was kept alive in storage. Meanwhile, the Superior is the alias of Jonathan Gallagher, a powerful intelligence figure and head of the organization known as the Bridge.
- In The Return, Ivanov refers to his new LMD form as something "designed only for killing", a subtle allusion to Marvel supervillain M.O.D.O.K. (Mental/Mobile/Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing).
- Ivanov is a fan of The Moody Blues.
Behind the Scenes
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.09: Broken Promises
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.12: Hot Potato Soup
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.13: BOOM
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.17: Identity and Change
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.21: The Return
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.22: World's End
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.15: Rise and Shine
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.17: The Honeymoon
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.14: The Man Behind the Shield
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.03: Uprising
- Translates to: "Yes."
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.15: Self Control
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.19: All the Madame's Men
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.14: The Devil Complex