Anatoli Knyazev (code-named The Beast, and known to the CIA as the KGBeast) was an elite assassin for a top-secret KGB cell called "The Hammer." According to KGB Agent Andrei Yevtushenko, Kyazev was trained in several martial arts and the use of "every deadly weapon in existence." In addition, Knyazev's strength was cybernetically enhanced, making him "as strong as any four healthy men and able to literally tear a person in two with his bare hands." At the time of his first appearance in Gotham City, CIA Agent Ralph Bundy credited the Beast with the deaths of nine other agents, making for an estimated total number of victims at over one hundred. Yevtushenko grimly advised that the true figure was at least two hundred. He was rumored to have planned the assassination of Anwar Sadat. Initially sent to the United States on a last-ditch mission for his superiors, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, without a cause, he became a freelancer and supervillain.
Ten Nights of the Beast
When the Russian government shut down his KGB cell (The Hammer), because it had become too powerful and was a threat to the Soviet regime, the KGBeast was given one last mission by the Hammer's leader, Zhores Kunaev, before Kunaev committed suicide. The KGBeast was to eliminate ten people necessary to America's "Strategic Defense Initiative" (the "Star Wars" program), who would be in Gotham at some point over the course of a two-week period. Despite Batman's best efforts, combined with the GCPD, the FBI and the CIA, KGBeast was able to kill all but three of his targets: Senator Dayle, General Brian Ridgewell, and President Ronald Reagan. His total body count in Gotham, in the 10-day period alone, was over 100 people (80 of which were attendees at a gala banquet hosting Reagan's SDI adviser, all of whom were killed in a mass poisoning). Despite this, as a member of the Soviet embassy, he could not be legally punished for his crimes in America, but if caught would have to be turned back over to the Russians. During his crimes in Gotham, he came in conflict with Batman and in order to avoid capture, KGBeast cut off his own hand and escaped from the vigilante once again.
Eventually he was cornered by Batman in a sewer compartment. He challenged Batman to fight with him, so they could see which of them was truly better, but Batman declined, instead opting to leave and lock the door behind him, so the Beast would not be able to get out. Some time later, Batman called the police to have him taken in, but by then, KGBeast had already escaped.
After the Fall of the Soviet Union
In the aftermath of the fall of the USSR, the Hammer transformed into a crime syndicate involved in heroin, gambling, extortion, and murder for hire. The KGBeast was back in service to the Hammer as an assassin. He was smuggled into the United States to help the Hammer in its operations in Gotham. Where he clashed repeatedly with both Robin, the Huntress. Finally, he battled both of them and King Snake, while the Ghost Dragons assaulted the counterfeit money printing press operation of the Hammer putting an end to their activities in Gotham.
Face the Face
KGBeast was eventually reduced to working for the Penguin as a hitman. He was shot in the head by the new Tally Man under the orders of the Great White Shark, as part of a larger scheme to cripple the Penguin's empire.
KGBeast was one of the many villains raised from the dead in Gotham City to join the new Black Lantern Corps during Blackest Night. He received a ring along with Abbatoir, Deacon Blackfire, Blockbuster, King Snake, Magpie, the Trigger Twins, and the Ventriloquist. He terrorized the city and tore out the hearts of innocents to feed on their emotions and life force when they were feeling the most fear.
- Cybernetic Force: Supplemented physique due to cybernetic enhancements which gave him the strength of 4 men and the ability to literally tear a man in two with his bare hands.
- Cybernetic Velocity: Physical supplement due to the cybernetic improvements that gave him the speed of 4 men, being able to reach 112 km / h.
- Cybernetic energy production: Cybernetic physical supplement that allows you to generate energy and manipulate it and remodel it as you want, being almost impossible to escape its attack.
- Superhuman agility: Flexible parts of your body are replaced by volatile cybernetic parts allowing you to have a superhuman agility and can deflect lead bullets.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced)
- Weaponry: The KGBeast's training has allowed him to master many styles of armed combat.
- Prosthetic Gun: Having cut off his arm to avoid Batman, the KGBeast has since had it replaced with a prosthetic gun. He has impeccable aim with it, it is an automatic, and also features at least a bayonet, tear gas dispenser and scope.
- Adaptive Reader: The technology reader offers 2.8 billion combat and vulnerability scripts warning you of any weakness of the opponent, enabling him to predict or react to any skill or power.
- KGBeast has trained a protege, the NKVDemon.
- KGBeast has worked as a henchman for Lock-Up during his tenure as Blackgate warden during the events of No Man's Land.
- Batman: Ten Nights of the Beast
- Batman: Prodigal
- Robin III: Cry of the Huntress
- Batman: Face the Face
- 42 Appearances of Anatoli Knyazev (New Earth)
- 30 Images featuring Anatoli Knyazev (New Earth)
- 5 Quotations by or about Anatoli Knyazev (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Anatoli Knyazev (New Earth)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Batman #417
- ↑ Batman #419
- ↑ Batman #420
- ↑ See excerpt
- ↑ Robin (Volume 3) #1
- ↑ Robin (Volume 3) #2
- ↑ Robin (Volume 3) #4
- ↑ Robin (Volume 3) #5
- ↑ Robin (Volume 3) #4
- ↑ Batman: Blackgate - Isle of Men #1
- ↑ Batman Plus Arsenal #1
- ↑ Detective Comics #817
- ↑ Blackest Night: Batman #1
- ↑ Blackest Night: Batman #2
|Black Lantern Corps member|
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