KGBeast (Anatoli Knyazev) is a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo, the character first appeared as an adversary of Batman.

KGBeast has appeared in numerous cartoon television shows and films. Anatoli appeared in his first live adaptation as a recurring cast member on The CW television series Arrow played by David Nykl. This version is leader of the Bratva. Anatoli also appeared as a henchman for Lex Luthor in the film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice played by Callan Mulvey.

Art by Tom Lyle
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBatman #417 (March 1988)
Created byJim Starlin
Jim Aparo
In-story information
Alter egoAnatoli Knyazev
Team affiliationsKGB
Black Lantern Corps
Suicide Squad
Notable aliasesThe Beast
AbilitiesEnhanced physique due to cybernetic enhancement and extreme KGB conditioning
Extraordinary hand-to-hand combatant
Master of weapons and explosives
Prosthetic gun in place of left hand

Publication history

KGBeast first appeared in (March 1988) and was created by Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo.

Fictional character biography


Anatoli Knyazev (Russian: Анато́лий Кня́зев, Anatoliy Knyazev), code-named "The Beast", and known to the C.I.A. as the "KGBeast" was trained as an assassin by "The Hammer", a top secret cell of the KGB. In addition to being the master of several martial arts, his strength was cybernetically enhanced, and he had also mastered the use of every deadly weapon known. At the time of his first appearance, he was rumored to have killed at least 200 people.

First appearance

The Beast made his first appearance in the storyline, "Ten Nights of The Beast" Batman #417 (March 1988), which was later reprinted as a trade paperback of the same name. It was written by Jim Starlin and drawn by Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo.[1]

The Hammer's general, angry that the Soviet government was working to better relations with the United States, sent Knyazev on a mission to kill 10 high-ranking U.S. officials in an attempt to cripple the Strategic Defense Initiative program. These include scientists, civilian administrators, military figures, and politicians, the last of whom being then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan, scheduled to visit Gotham City.

Despite Batman's best efforts, the Beast eliminated nearly all of his targets. In particular, he showcased his ruthlessness by poisoning an entire banquet, killing over 100 people, just to ensure that his target would die.

When Batman finally faced the Beast in hand to hand combat, the Beast quickly gained the upper hand, fleeing only because he thought Batman had back-up.

During the rematch between the two, Batman snared the Beast's left wrist with the Batrope. Rather than be captured, the Beast grabbed a nearby axe and chopped off the restrained hand. The Beast quickly had the limb replaced with a cybernetic gun, made by one of Gotham's top weapons dealers.

Before the final confrontation between Batman and the Beast, C.I.A. Agent Ralph Bundy reminded Batman that, if the Beast were to be captured alive, he would have to be handed over to the Soviets, and likely escape justice. Knowing this, Batman, after thwarting the Beast's assassination attempt on Reagan, destroyed the Beast's gun-arm, lured him into the sewers, and then cornered him in an underground room. The Beast invited Batman to fight him to the death, but instead Batman locked the room, effectively burying the assassin alive.

In the later story, Batman: Year Three, Batman noted that he then contacted the police to pick up the subdued villain.

Later appearances

However, the Beast escaped and went into hiding, from where he saw the Soviet Union dissolve. His protégé, the NKVDemon, surfaced in Russia, but was killed by Batman's ally, Soviet police detective Nikita Krakov. The Beast became a traditional supervillain, engaging in a counterfeiting scheme and having additional cybernetic implants inserted into his body. He fought Robin and the Huntress, but was ultimately defeated by King Snake. He later acquired a nuclear bomb the size and shape of a baseball, which he used to threaten Gotham City. He was defeated by Robin and ultimately locked up in Blackgate Penitentiary.[2]

In the No Man's Land storyline, the Beast appeared as a henchman of Lock-Up, during the latter's tenure as the unofficial warden of Blackgate.

One Year Later

One year after the events of Infinite Crisis, the Beast was thrown from a roof by a man thought to be Two-Face, after the Beast botched an assassination. His lifeless body was later found by the police, his death caused by two gunshots to the head. Two-Face appeared to be innocent of the murder; the killer seemed to be the Tally Man, hired by the Great White Shark.[3] The Beast's corpse was later stolen by a mysterious group who were reanimating corpses and turning them into zombie-like soldiers.[4] His head was shown floating around in a tank with several life support devices, indicating that he would return at some point in the future.[5]

Blackest Night

As part of the Blackest Night story arc, KGBeast's corpse was reanimated by a black power ring and recruited to the Black Lantern Corps during the Blackest Night: Batman miniseries. He used his ring to form a black energy construct of his gun arm.[6]


As part of the New 52 the character got a new backstory First on the New Suicide Squad #2 (October, 2014) KGBeast/Commander Anatoli Knyazev was a citizen of the USSR until it dissolved. He was trained by Boris Ulyanov/Hammer, as well as others like Kanto (comics)[7], and has mastered several forms of martial arts. In addition he gained cybernetic abilities which increased his strength. He is and fight against the Suicide Squad as is a Russian military soldier after is many times lost is become is a member of Suicide Squad.

DC Rebirth

In DC Rebirth KGBeast is now simply The Beast. He is described as one of the world's best contract killers, who formerly worked for the U.S. government and typically is exclusive to Washington D.C.. His logo is a 666 symbol. He had his own private island constructed for the purposes of taking his captured enemies there and engaging them in a hunt to the death, free from any national jurisdictions. He is hired by the Penguin, Black Mask, and Great White to kill Batman and Two-Face after the latter threatens to release his collection of blackmail data to the world.[8] Anatoli is last seen when, to stop him killing a group of rioting civilians, Batman lunges into him and over a cliff. Only Batman is saved by Duke Thomas, leaving Beast's fate uncertain.

He is hired by Bane to break Batman by assassinating his protege Nightwing.[9] He is cornered by Batman after he murdered his father at the cabin. He's been hit in the neck, and Batman decides to walk away, leaving his fate unknown once again.

Other versions


In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, KGBeast is imprisoned in military Doom prison. During the prison break, KGBeast is shot with a blast by corrections officer Amazo.[10]

In other media


  • KGBeast appears in Justice League Unlimited. In the episode "Kids Stuff", he along with Blockbuster, Cheetah and Copperhead are robbing a gold vault when they fight the Justice League and is defeated by an electric shock. He later made a couple of background appearances as a member of Gorilla Grodd's Secret Society. In the episode "Alive", KGBeast is seen fighting on Gorilla Grodd's side during his attempted mutiny against Lex Luthor. He is seen on Luthor's side once the fight is over, so it's believed he switched sides during the mutiny. However, he did not make it to Sinestro's force field, and he was presumably killed when the ship exploded.
  • Anatoly Knyazev appears in Arrow, portrayed by David Nykl. He appears in both the present timeline and flashbacks. He and Oliver Queen initially meet near the island of Lian Yu, where Oliver helps him escape from Dr. Anthony Ivo. Years later, Oliver arrives in Russia, looking to avenge a friend by killing a gangster known as Kovar. He seeks out Anatoly and joins Bratva, eventually killing Kovar and returning to Star City. In the present timeline, Oliver seeks out Anatoly's aid from time-to-time. In season six, Anatoly becomes a recurring villain as part of Cayden James's cabal. When Ricardo Diaz usurps James, Anatoly abandons him after seeing that he lives and fights without honor, something he holds in high esteem. He once again begins working with Oliver, while also becoming an informant to A.R.G.U.S. In season seven, Diaz looks for vengeance on Anatoly for betraying him and slaughters his Bratva unit. Oliver and his team save Anatoly, who leaves Star City for a tropical island.


  • KGBeast appears briefly in Batman: Assault on Arkham, voiced by Nolan North. He appears briefly as a recruit for the latest Suicide Squad, after being captured during an attack on a military base. When he awakens with the Squad, he believes Amanda Waller is bluffing after she warns them of the small nano-explosives implanted in the neck of each member. Waller allows him to walk out only to immediately execute him with the explosive to serve as a warning to the other Squad members should they abandon their mission.
  • Anatoly Knyazev appears in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, portrayed by Callan Mulvey. He appears as a mercenary, terrorist and weapons trafficker who secretly works for Lex Luthor as his main henchman. He was in Africa doing business with African terrorists, but double crossed them by killing his men when Superman arrived to the scene, following Luthor's orders. Bruce Wayne has kept tabs on him and when he was delivering the Kryptonite to Luthor, Batman chased after him for the Kryptonite only to be stopped by Superman, who has problems with his tactics, allowing Knyazev to successfully deliver the Kryptonite to Luthor. Later, Knyazev kidnaps Martha Kent following Luthor's instructions to burn her to death in one hour unless ordered otherwise, and holds her hostage in a warehouse with many armed men guarding the building, only for all of them to be taken down by Batman. The Dark Knight shoots the flamethrower tank he was wearing in order to rescue Martha from his grip, with Knyazev being caught in an explosion.

Video games

  • KGBeast appears in Batman. His only appearance in the game is at stage 1-2, although he's not a boss.[11] He is portrayed as a ninja and attacks with a sword and shuriken.

See also


  1. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 233. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Using the Cold War as their backdrop, writer Jim Starlin and artist Jim Aparo crafted the four-part storyline 'Ten Nights of the Beast'.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Robin (vol. 4) #14 (February 1995) ("Troika" Part Four)
  3. ^ Detective Comics #817 (May 2006)
  4. ^ Nightwing (vol. 2) #142 (May 2008)
  5. ^ Nightwing (vol. 2) #143 (June 2008)
  6. ^ Blackest Night: Batman #1 (October 2009)
  7. ^ "Batman #56 (2018)
  8. ^ All-Star Batman #4
  9. ^ Batman Vol 3 #55
  10. ^ Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #2 (July 2011)
  11. ^ "Batman: The Video game". NES Player. Archived from the original on 2012-09-04. Retrieved 2010-12-29.

External links


Advanced Research Group Uniting Super-Humans (or A.R.G.U.S. for short) is the name of a government organization in DC Comics. A.R.G.U.S. first appeared in Justice League Vol. 2 #7 and was created by Geoff Johns and Gene Ha.


Anatoly (Russian: Анато́лий, romanized: Anatólij /ɐnɐˈtolʲɪj/, Ukrainian: Анато́лій, romanized: Anatólij /ɑnɑˈtɔlʲii̯/) is a common Russian and Ukrainian male given name, derived from the Greek name Ανατολιος Anatolios, meaning "sunrise." Other common Russian transliterations are Anatoliy and Anatoli. The Ukrainian transliteration is Anatoliy or Anatolii. The French version of the name is Anatole. Other variants are Anatol and more rarely Anatolio.

Saint Anatolius of Alexandria was a fifth-century saint who became the first patriarch of Constantinople in 451.Anatoly was one of the five most popular names for baby boys born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2004. One in every 35,110 Americans are named Anatoly and the popularity of the name Anatoly is 28.48 people per million.The name of Anatolia – a region located to the east from the Greeks' point of view – shares the same linguistic origin.

Anatoli Agrofenin (born 1980), Russian footballer

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Anatoly Shariy (born 1978), Ukrainian journalist and videobloger

Anatoli Aslamov (born 1953), Russian football coach

Anatoli Baklanov (born 1980), Russian footballer

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Anatoli Blagonravov (1895–1975), Russian physicist

Anatoli Bogdanov (footballer) (born 1981), Russian footballer

Anatoli Boisa (born 1983), Georgian basketball player

Anatoli Boukreev (1958–1997), Russian climber

Anatoli Bugorski (born 1942), Russian scientist

Anatoli Bulakov (1930–1994), Soviet boxer

Anatoly Bulgakov (footballer, born 1979), Russian footballer

Anatoli Butov (born 1989), Russian footballer

Anatoly Chubais (born 1955), Russian politician

Anatoli Davydov (born 1953), Russian football coach

Anatoly Demitkov (1926–2005), Soviet canoeist

Anatoli Dmitriyev (born 1991), Russian footballer

Anatoly Dobrynin (1919–2010), Russian politician

Anatoli Droga (21st century), Ukrainian judoka

Anatoly Dyatlov (1931–1995), Russian Nuclear Engineer, Vice-Chief during 1986 Chernobyl disaster

Anatoli Efimoff (1897–1981), Russian artist

Anatoli Fedotov (born 1966), Soviet ice hockey player

Anatoli Fedyukin (born 1952), Russian handball player

Anatoly Filipchenko (born 1928), Soviet cosmonaut

Anatoli Firsov (1941–2000), Russian ice hockey player

Anatoly Fomenko (born 1945), Russian mathematician

Anatoli Ivanishin (born 1969), Russian cosmonaut

Anatoly Karpov (born 1951), Russian chess grandmaster (World Champion)

Anatoli Knyazev, also known as KGBeast, a fictional character appearing in DC Comics

Anatoli Nankov (born 1969), Bulgarian footballer and a coach

Anatoly Onoprienko (1959-2013), Ukrainian serial killer and mass murderer

Anatoly Papanov (1922–1987), Soviet actor

Anatoly Rasskazov (born 1960), Russian photographer and artist

Anatoly Shariy (born 1978), Ukrainian investigative journalist

Anatoly Sobchak (1937–2000), Russian politician

Anatoly Solonitsyn (1934–1982), Russian actor

Anatoly Stessel (1848–1915), Russian military leader

Anatoliy Tymoschuk (born 1979), Ukrainian footballer

Anatoli Tarasov (1918–1995), Russian ice hockey player and coach

Anatoly Vaneyev (1872–1899), Russian revolutionary

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IGN's list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time ranked Bane as #34. The character has been substantially adapted from the comics into multiple forms of media; he has been portrayed in live-action by Robert Swenson in Batman & Robin, by Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises, and by Shane West in Gotham.

Blackgate Penitentiary

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Serving as a prison and a genetic modification facility, Blackgate Penitentiary is located on a small island in Gotham Bay, which is part of Gotham City. Batman: The Long Halloween suggests that it was preceded by Gotham State Penitentiary, which appeared often in comics prior to the continuity change brought about by 1985 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths.

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Lock-Up (comics)

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Royal Flush Gang

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Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad is the name of a fictional supervillain team appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The first version of the Suicide Squad debuted in The Brave and the Bold #25 (September 1959) and the second and modern version, created by John Ostrander, debuted in Legends #3 (January 1987). One of the two teams saves the world from a threatening race of savages.

The modern incarnation of the Suicide Squad is Task Force X—a team of incarcerated supervillains who carry out secret missions in exchange for reduced prison sentences. The Suicide Squad's name alludes to the dangerous nature of their missions. The team is based out of Belle Reve Penitentiary under the directorship of Amanda Waller.

Various incarnations of the Suicide Squad have existed throughout the years as depicted in several self-titled comic book series, from its origins in the Silver Age, to its modern-day Post-Crisis reimagining, to the current version that was introduced in the 2016 DC Rebirth continuity reboot. The current incarnation of the team appears in the fifth volume of the Suicide Squad comic series, and the recurring members include Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Enchantress, Harley Quinn, Katana and Killer Croc.

The group has appeared in various adaptations, including television series and an eponymous 2016 feature film.

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