Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker
|Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker|
Portrayed by Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull
|Known Aliases:||Johann Schmidt, Red Skull|
|Introduction:||Operation: Don't Leave Me With The Germans|
A former Nazi scientist, Strucker experimented on mutants in order to further racial purity - as well as pursue find the secret of eternal youth. He was 'reborn' following the explosion of his laboratory complex as the Red Skull, a horribly deformed and completely insane monster, determined to ruin those who had ruined him - X-Force.
Name: Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker
Aliases: Johann Schmidt, Red Skull
First appearance: June 26, 2006
Born Wolfgang Manfred Strucker in 1914, he was part of the chaotic culture mix of post WWI Germany. Although the son of a Prussian farmer, Strucker was determined to become a doctor, and his ferocious intelligence soon earned him scholarships to the prestigious Frankfurt medical academy where he studied both medicine and philosophy with equal fervor. Like his fellow classmate, Josef Mengele, the concepts of genetics by the way of eugenics and the fascination with twins would remain with him his entire life.
Unlike Mengele, Strucker never made his way to test his theories in the death camps. He served two years on the Russian Front, twice decorated with the Iron Cross for bravery, before moving back to Berlin to join the Nazi medical and bioscience research teams under the famous Johann 'The Red Skull' Schmidt. Schmidt was a brilliant, yet insane, scientist who the Furher had organized all of his biological weapon research under. Schmidt was makred by his appearance; he had been badly scarred by fire during the First World War, and had the scars tattooed over with a red Death's Head visage. Schmidt was killed in early 1945 when a complex he was working on a secret experiement in was destroyed by a special surprise raid by American troops. As the Russians reached the outskirts of Berlin in the spring of 1945, Strucker shut down the entire lab and took his team east, surrendering to American forces a few weeks later. The meticulous Strucker had made sure to have all evidence and documentation of their research completely destroyed, and the secret projects that they were involved in remained nothing but rumours.
Dr. Strucker spent eighteen months in various camps and tribunals, until he was cleared from any involvement with war crimes, and released into the newly formed West German Republic. His status as a legitimate war hero, lack of Nazi ties (Strucker had been general infantry, and not SS), and charming manner had earned him friends amongst the allies, and their help enabled him to launch his first medical research company in 1948. He slowly collected the members of his wartime staff from around the country (and a few from Russian controlled Eastern Germany) and began to reassemble their work.
Strucker Medical Sciences soon became a large name in pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, vaccines and biotechnology. Manfred purchased an impoverished barony in 1953, adding the ‘von’ honorific to his name and title. Over the next fifty years, Strucker continued to grow, securing a sizable percentage of the European market, and continuing a traditional of cutting edge science.
Of course, the trouble is that Strucker is a jackal in human skin, and no one has seemed to notice yet. His experiments in Berlin were every bit as gruesome as those performed in the death camps, but unlike Mengele, Strucker was more thorough about not leaving evidence and covering his tracks. His obsession with genetic Aryan supremacy has never left him, and his belief that twins encompass the best of those qualities when mated has driven his work into increasingly darker themes.
The last thirty years has seen his work follow two main focuses; the integration of mutant genes into his eugenics programs, and the extension of his own life. Already past 90, Strucker feared dying, and was convinced that by using both lines of obsession, he could thwart death. In this, his mind has grown further twisted, and his experiments turned to even more bizarre and cruel directions.
The Red Skull
When X-Force destroyed Strucker's complex, the man himself was able to survive, even though his new revitalized body was crushed and battered. Strucker's process to restore his youth through telophasic regeneration actually put them into a constant state. However, the side effect of the process was that his brain also went through the process, smoothing the sulci and gyri on the cerebral cortex, wiping out part of his memories, fracturing others, and driving him completely insane. Strucker now believes himself to be Johann Schmidt, and has reorganized his empire as HYDRA. Unable to reconciel his young face with his delusion of being Schmidt, he regularly razors off his features, stripping it back almost to the bone in a grisly recreation of the Death's Head.
Strucker's body is now in a perpetual telophasic state, in which his cells are constently generating new cells. This acts like a slow, super healing factor. There is no injury outside of the complete destruction of his body that Strucker will not eventually regenerate from. However, the process further damages his brain, as the regeneration process wipes out elements of memory at random.
Socked by: Dex