I was sitting at my desk today and for some reason I started contemplating the Cold War and where we stand in our relationship with various foreign entities. Naturally, that made me think of Unicorn.
Oh, Cold War, along with threat of nuclear attack you brought along a vast array of Superheroes and Supervillains designed to both inspire people and feed on their fears. And what better way to do that than by making the Soviet bad guy a Unicorn.
That’s right, let’s demasculate the Ruskies by naming him after a fantasy horse beloved by little girls.
Bravo Stan Lee!
Unicorn is essentially a Cyclops rip-off created to be a pain in Iron Man’s behind. He started out with no natural super powers and relied solely on his training by the KGB and a helmet with a laser pointer. Later on he received some experimental medicinal aid in the form of tougher skin and increased strength, but even those came back to bite him in the butt when he developed accelerated cellular deterioration. Oops. But wait! Yellowjacket has a cure! Oh, insanity is the side effect? Damn. Note to villains, never trust an Avenger to cure you.
Over the years Milos Masaryk and Tony Stark became comic book frenemies. Milos attacks Tony, Tony defeats Milos (everytime). Milos is apparently dim-witted and trusts other Super villains, allowing himself to be manipulated into their plots against Tony. Then he realizes he was manipulated and helps Tony escape. Tony tries to cure Milos but he ends up insane so Tony does the next best thing and puts Milos in stasis until a cure for insanity is found (how about some therapy, hrmmmm?) When Milos wakes up Tony saves him from his own robot and then hides him away again. Milos wakes up again when a fire breaks out at Stark Enterprises and insists that he must walk back to the USSR. As in, walk across the ocean. Tony watches Milos walk into the Atlantic Ocean where he drowns.
Aquaman belongs to the DC Universe and is, therefore, powerless to help.
So the Russian guy is dumb, insane and willing to let pretty much anyone experiment on him. I wonder what kind of propaganda we were trying to accomplish with this guy? Of course, Colossus and Epsilon Red were also products of the Cold War and they both turned out all right. Survive in space?? Yes please!
Personally, I think that Unicorn is a little under-appreciated in the comic world. He was excellent at hand-to-hand combat and could shoot a gun like nobody’s business. Iron Man obviously felt he was a bit of a kindred spirit.