TW Villain: Helreginn Picture

This is Helreginn, one of Thunder Woman's most prominent villains and archenemies, maybe even more than Hera.

Reinhardt Eisenstein was born in Germany, partly Jewish in descent. Possessed of an immense curiosity and budding intellect that outstripped his parents and small urban life, he left for university when he was still a teenager, graduating alongside much older gentlemen. This earned him a fair amount of notoriety, but an obstacle would come with the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, particularly in Germany after the First World War.

Eisenstein was naturally a target of Nazi persecution as they began to rise in power. Many intellectuals fled to France, England, or the United States to avoid this, but Reinhardt went to a different place: Soviet Russia, itself a horrific hellhole thanks to Stalin's purges and economic policies. Under a psuedonym he worked in the universities at St. Petersburg. While the scientist had many, many specialities that he excelled at, there was one study he intently focused on: biology. Reinhardt wanted to know the secret of human life, and what made humans so special and different from animal life. In the process, he discovered the many facets of human DNA and other discoveries decades ahead of everyone else.

So impressed was Stalin by this research, that he approached Reinhardt for a special task: to discover the key to immortality. A daunting task to anyone else, Reinhardt welcomed the challenge. He was given his own gulag to run, and there he experimented on thousands of prisoners in his quest. The fact that he was killing and torturing people in the name of science didn't concern him. He steadily made progress, only interrupting his work when the Germans invaded Russia in Operation Barbarossa. The Nazis had their own mad scientists, and they fielded biological monstrosities, zombies, and cyborgs against the Russians. For most of the war, Reinhardt worked against his fellow Germans, giving the Russians their own beasts, their own unusual war machines to combat the Germans. And thanks to the Soviet lockdown, while the Allies discovered the Nazi concentration camps and laboratories, none were aware of the atrocities Reinhardt committed for the Russians in the war. Indeed, so hellish was his gulag that the German prisoners sent to him gave his laboratory a name: Hel, and the scientist Helreginn, the Ruler of Hel. Reinhardt, far from displeased, actually took to this, and toward the end of the war began to dress with a metal helmet around his head shaped like a skull; another nickname was Sensenmann, the Grim Reaper, or Totenkopf, Death's Head.

After most of Hitler's wunderwaffen and wunderkorps were eliminated, Reinhardt turned back to his research, and soon he produced a fully functional elixer of life. But there were problems: Stalin was becoming more untrusting of the scientist, who walked a narrow tightrope with the NKVD. Furthermore, there were rivals of Stalin who were fearful of what would happen if the totalitarian dictator became immortal. As a result, Reinhardt was the target of a conspiracy, and realizing his time with the Russians was up, drank the exiler himself, and fled Soviet Russia, the NKVD occupied with some leftover monstrosities of his creation.

Reinhardt arrived in the United States. There was no record there, no awareness he existed, and in this vacuum he set up shop. He continued his research in private, using animals as his subjects. These years were long and largely unfruitful, and soon he turned to illegal smuggling of kidnapped victims, as well as creating ever more deadly machines. He had an obsession with death, and for decades it was his only motivation. And yet for as long as he lived, he never aged.

The immortality exiler was not an option, as the formula had been destroyed in his escape, and Reinhardt didn't care; he was immortal, and he did not like the prospect of other immortals populating the world. Only he would survive, long after nations and rulers fell to the sands of time. And he would discover the secrets to everything.

Reinhardt would not discover a true motivation beyond this until he encountered a woman: Thunder Woman, to be exact. His illegal smuggling operations had been uncovered, but police could not touch the man, thanks to his technology. But Thunder Woman could; few of his devices or minions phased her, and she easily defeated him. For the first time, Reinhardt was imprisoned, unable to do his work, and he was enraged. Not that anyone noticed, as he remained virtually calm during his incarceration. But while other villains had to rely on chance or outside assistance to escape, the jailers of Reinhardt underestimated him. He was able to engineer his own escape, and returned to a backup laboratory. Thunder Woman wore an elaborate outfit, had a code name, and superhuman powers. If this was to be the nature of his new foes, he would respond in kind. He resurrected his old identity of Helreginn, crafted himself an armor that could stand up to superhuman foes, and became more elaborate and grandiose; he wanted Thunder Woman, not to kill her, but to study her, to unlock the secret of superhumanity and become something more than a man. This theme largely colored many of his projects and experiments, and he began to associated with supervillains on an increasingly common basis.

Meanwhile, Reinhardt crafted a new alias outside of his activities, using his inventions to create a tech company with which to fund and hide his operations. He became wealthy, buying large tracts of land and his own mansion. But he didn't care about possessions or wealth; that was for show. As long as it aided him in his quests, he used it.

He would clash with almost every superhero out there, but Helreginn's most common foe was Thunder Woman, their battles always incorporating a kind of chess game-esque pattern of outmaneuvering and outthinking the other; raw power was only a tool in these complex mind games. Helreginn would even team up with Thunder Woman on some occasions, particularly against Thunder Slayer and other foes who threatened both of them.

Helreginn also allied himself with other villains. For a time, he lead a grouping of Thunder Woman's villains as a kind of "revenge squad" against her, and his prominence as a villain was enough to grant him membership in The Ouroboros, an elite council of the most powerful or infamous supervillains in the world. Helreginn's relations with these men and women were mixed, as his priorities sometimes conflicted with their more cliche, materialistic goals. He made friends with Canadian villain Malphas, who like the German was a mad scientist of great intellect. Though the two would never team up, they did collaborate on occasion, offering advise on each other's plans or inventions. On the other hand, Helreginn lost no love for would-be world conquerors like Sovereign Sunder or Rex Regis, ruthless corporate rival Dredd Duvall, magical manipulators like Veles, machines like Revengine, or the power hungry, seductive femme fatales that often played the men as pawns, like Oudine or Shadow Mistress. However, the one villain he could not stand the most was Gruentod, the Green Death, a Nazi officer turned skeletal radioactive powerhouse. Whenever Gruentod has been given a role in the Ouroboros, Helreginn has left.

One of the more memorable teamups for Reinhardt was with the Greek goddess Hera, the only other person who rivaled him as an enemy of Thunder Woman. Hera intriguied the German villain, especially after she revealed her godhood to him and her plan for taking Thunder Woman down. He accepted her offer of an alliance, and they went about distracting Thunder Woman and the other heroes, all while gathering the tools and minions necessary for finally ending her. Hera thought of Reinhardt as nothing more than a tool, and that once things were ready, she could cast him aside. But he was onto her, and the tools they gathered were not for what she thought. By the time Hera realized she had underestimated her partner, it was too late; Reinhardt drained Hera of all her power, and casting Hera aside like trash. He continued with his plan, and launched an all-out assault on Thunder Woman. But Samantha had been warned by Hera, and was ready with all her friends at SHE and Herakles, and with the latter's assistance, found a way to relinquish Helreginn of Hera's godly power. But as always, Reinhardt slipped away, evading justice one more time.

Reinhardt has even had his share of victories against Thunder Woman. The one that gets to Samantha the most is his creation of Ranke. Though Helreginn had no idea, the woman he kidnapped and transformed into a biological supersoldier capable of subduing Thunder Woman was in fact one of her closest friends. Through this emotional and heart-wrenching ordeal, Reinhardt figured out the connection between Samantha and Thunder Woman, and confirmed it through further observation. However, he has yet to play his card yet. He has a plan, a goal to pour every ounce of his resources as a businessman and scientist against her; when he is done, he will be a god, and the earth a giant laboratory for him to play in, Thunder Woman his slave and concubine. How he intends to accomplish this monumental task, only he knows...

Reinhardt Eisenstein is a man of pure genius. Though not uber-talented in every single subject, his mind operates on a level few humans can imagine. He is an accomplished biologist, geneticist, physicist, engineer, businessman, and so much so. He has many, many inventions and minions to his credit, and decades of experience. His most notable inventions include a device that can drain the power from any magical or cosmically empowered being, and his powered armor. This armor includes a forcefield that can withstand even Thunder Woman's punches, powerful blasters that can hurt her, a zero-point device that can levitate matter, catch attacks, or paralyze opponents caught in its beam, and a levitation device that allows him to hover, arrest his movement in midair if thrown, and make great leaps, though no true flight; for long range transportation, he has a teleportation device built into the armor that allows him to made "jumps" over hundreds of miles, and he is crafty enough to use the portals temporarily created by this device as weapons in combat.

Furthermore, thanks to the elixer her drank, Reinhardt is functionally immortal; he is immune to disease, requires no food or air (though his body still acts as if he needs them; he has had to train himself to learn not to breath), though sleep is still necessary to retain his sanity. He is also immune to almost any poison and disease, and can recover from almost any injury given enough time; thanks to a healing chamber, he can accelerate this process much more quickly.

Reinhardt has also created a wide variety of monsters and minions to serve him, including biological clones of himself and other heroines, though it is still an inexact science even for him. His greatest success on this front has been Ranke, his loyal female lieutenant, lover, and living weapon against Thunder Woman and any other threat against him.

Helreginn, Thunder Woman, and all related characters are (c)
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