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Vladimir the Conqueror

Vladimir
Real name
Tsar Vladimir
Current alias
Vladimir the Conqueror
Aliases
Vladimir Makarov
Alignment
Relatives
Jena Makarov (daughter); Juliana Makarov (daughter, deceased)
Universe
Base of operations
The Imperial Palace

Characteristics
Gender
Eyes
Hair
Status
Citizenship
Occupation
Tsar
Origin
First appearance
Death

2000 AD prog 1036
2000 AD prog 1791

History

Tsar Vladimir the Conqueror was a character from the 2000 AD series Nikolai Dante, the ruler of a global Russian Empire in the 27th century, and a bit of a bastard. In his younger days he was the lover of Jocasta, the sister of Dmitri Romanov. Vladimir and Jocasta had liberated Russia from Tsar Ivan the Oppressor, whom Vladimir strangled to death. He then declared himself Tsar. This earned him the undying enmity of Dmitri, who separated Vladimir from Jocasta and begat several children on her — because nobody but his own sister was 'worthy' to bear his children — with the eventual aim of creating a strong Romanov clan who could depose Tsar Vladimir and allow Dmitri to rule in his place. To make his progeny invincible, he acquired alien bio-technology called 'Weapons Crests'. Each of his daughters and sons was given their own Weapons Crest, which gave them various deadly superpowers.

Tsar Vladimir was just as decadent and sadistic as his rival Dmitri, which implies that Jocasta had a truly appalling taste in men. His rule was despotic, allowing Vladimir to wreak excruciatingly cruel punishments on those who opposed or disappointed him and then spend his free time being pampered by beautiful 'imperial seductresses'. The Tsar had many faults, but excessive asceticism was not one of them.

In one of the Tsar's court sessions, which he liked to preside over personally, a thieving blackguard called Nikolai Dante was brought before him. Said blackguard interested Vladimir because he had Romanov DNA. Vladimir tried to manipulate Dante into a situation where he would be endowed with a Romanov Weapons Crest (intercepted as it was being transported to its intended recipient, Arkady Romanov) and could then be brought back to the Tsar's palace to be vivisected. (He also told his chief scientist that if this plan failed then said scientist would be administered with a corrosive acid enema, which suggests that he knew nothing whatsoever about science. This is probably why the Romanovs were much more technologically advanced than the Makarovs.) However, Tsar Vladimir's scheme only worked up to the point where Dante bonded with the Weapons Crest. Dante then managed to outwit Jena and make his way to the Romanovs, where he hoped to be rewarded with all the riches and luxuries due to someone of noble birth. He ended up becoming a pawn in the games played by the manipulative Dmitri. The Tsar sent Count Pyre's consort Maralis, an alien shapeshifter, to try and and assassinate Dante, but the attempt was unsuccessful and the Tsar was forced to leave Dante with the Romanovs.

Although he was a monster, Tsar Vladimir seems to have felt genuine affection for his daughters, Jena and Juliana Makarov. It was Juliana's murder at the hands of Konstantin Romanov, one of Dmitri's sons, which finally sparked off the bloody war between the Tsar and the house of Romanov for which both sides had been covertly preparing for decades. Vladimir eventually shot himself after losing his Empire, showing that the wages of sin is death (preceded by decades of absolute power and shameless luxury).

Powers and abilities

Abilities

Deviousness; leadership skills; ruthlessness.

Strength level

Elderly human male.

Paraphernalia

Transportation

Floating platform (because it looks impressive).

Notes

The trade paperback Nikolai Dante: The Romanov Dynasty contains Nikolai Dante and Vladimir's first appearance. It has an introduction which says that "In the Year of the Tsar 2666 AD ... the rule of Vladimir the Conqueror, Tsar of All the Russias, had been unopposed for centuries." However, in the 2000 AD 40th Anniversary Special, Nikolai attends a party to mark the 40th year of Vladimir's reign.

Trivia

Tsar Vladimir's primary henchmen were the the shapeshifting Count Pyre and the members of the Arbatov family, who were (depending on one's point of view) either spectacularly unlucky or ludicrously easy to kill.

Links

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