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Aleksander Lukin (Earth-616)

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General Aleksander Lukin (Russian: Генерал Александр Лукин) was a high-ranking member of the Soviet KGB, with long-held grudges against Captain America and the Red Skull. Amongst the items he inherited at the fall of the Soviet Union was the secret espionage project: Winter Soldier.

Early Life

In November 1942, the Red Skull was holding a special weapon in the Russian village of Kronas, with plans to use it in the Battle of Stalingrad. Russian General Vasily Karpov was charged with its destruction, along with the help of the American super-team, the Invaders. The battle went badly, and the entire village burned to the ground. Amongst the burning wreckage, Karpov found a small boy, Aleksander Lukin, and pledged to raise him as his protégé. [1]

In time, Lukin became a General in his own right, and inherited General Karpov's vast store of KGB secret projects. One of those projects turned out to be James "Bucky" Barnes, the partner of the legendary hero Captain America. Karpov had made much use of Barnes as the Winter Soldier, but Barnes had been put in stasis following Karpov's death. Though offered large sums of money for Barnes by the Red Skull, Lukin would not part with the Soldier, saying he had plans for him.[2]

Following the USSR's collapse, Lukin went rogue and established the Kronas Corporation: a large-scale oil supplier with offices in most of the major cities around the globe.[1]

The Winter Soldier

In order to seize the Red Skull's new Cosmic Cube, General Lukin reactivated the Winter Soldier to assassinate the Skull.[2] However, when the Skull was shot, the Skull managed to use the Cube's very weak power to transfer his mind into Lukin's body, so that the two enemies were trapped together, waging a constant war for mental dominance.[3]

Following Lukin's directives, the Soldier also assassinated Captain America's old partner Nomad (Jack Monroe) and detonated a specialised firebomb in Philadelphia which claimed many victims. Their deaths helped re-power the Cosmic Cube.[1] Using its newly enhanced power, Lukin swiftly took over many of the major oil, technology and industrial corporations of the world, including Roxxon and ChemaxOne, making Kronas Corporation the largest oil supplier in the world.[4]

Lukin had been disturbed by the Cube's effects, and was fighting a losing war against the Red Skull's personality, so he gave the Cosmic Cube to Barnes to store in a nuclear-safe vault in West Virginia. During investigations by Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America discovered the true identity of Lukin's agent and confronted the Winter Soldier at the vault. Rogers gained possession of the cube and used its powers to restore James' lost memories. Overcome with remorse, Barnes used the cube to teleport away and went underground to search for Lukin and the Red Skull.[5]

During a plot to lure out Captain America, Red Skull/Lukin recruited several German skinheads and made them the successors to the Master Man. He then had these soldiers, dubbed the "Master Race," launch an attack on London, which was thwarted by Captain America, Spitfire, and Union Jack. Then, Red Skull/Lukin activated a Sleeper, a robot programmed for mass destruction. The robot damaged a significant portion of the new London Kronas HQ, and was ultimately destroyed by Captain America and Bucky. In the aftermath, Red Skull sent a videotape, announcing to the world his return, followed by Lukin holding a press conference condemning the actions of both the Red Skull and Captain America, and supporting the Superhuman Registration Act. The Skull, now firmly in charge of Lukin's body, introduced Lukin to his old/new associates, Crossbones and Sin.[6]

Civil War

With America's superheroes divided over the SRA during the Superhero Civil War, the Skull manipulated events to his own ends, with the aid of Doctor Faustus and Arnim Zola. His plans involved the reunion of Captain America and his former lover Sharon Carter, who was being manipulated by Faustus.[7]

In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, the Skull put his plans into action, arranging for Crossbones to shoot Captain America as he entered a courthouse in New York City. In the ensuing chaos, Sharon Carter, acting under Faustus' mental directive, assassinated Captain America. This, however, was only the first phase of the Skull's evil plan. Upon the exposure of his being Lukin, the Skull faked his death, and initiated the second part of his plan: using Kronas Corporation's vast holdings to economically cripple the United States, before having S.H.I.E.L.D. agents brainwashed by Doctor Faustus open fire on crowds of protesters in front of the White House. The Red Skull continued his assault by engineering a riot by placing Kronas security troops and drugged water in a protest on the Lincoln Memorial.[8]

All of this had apparently been to elevate Gordon Wright, the Red Skull's puppet politician, in the public's eye with being credited as "resolving" the situations, as well as surviving a (staged) attack by the Serpent Squad. Once elected, Wright would lead the country directly into a police state secretly controlled by the Red Skull. The Skull also planed to transfer his consciousness into Sharon's unborn child, using a device obtained from Doctor Doom. The child, apparently sired by Steve Rogers himself, had potentially inherited Rogers' Project Rebirth enhancements, and would make a suitable new host for the Skull's mind.[9]

Both schemes failed because of the impatience and incompetence of the Skull's daughter, Sin - her near-fatal attack on Sharon Carter caused Sharon to lose the baby, and she intentionally botched her pseudo-assassination of Gordon Wright by attempting to kill him for real. Faustus had surreptitiously tampered with Sharon's programming before backing out of the Skull's plans, so Sharon was able to rebel during the final escape, shooting Lukin dead. However, Arnim Zola managed to transfer the Skull's mind to one of his spare robotic bodies just before Lukin was shot, allowing the Red Skull to live on.[10]

Abilities

Strategic genius and political mastermind.

Lukin had a considerable stock of money and resources left over from the KGB's special research division. After the formation of Kronas Corporation, he had the full power and influence of being the CEO of one of the largest energy commpanies on Earth.



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