Cry Wolf: a HERO Television Special
Various members of the Obskura Korps through more than a century of terror and chaos.
The Obskura Korps is the unfathomable organization that has existed within the German military since the late 1800s. The Korps specializes in matters concerning the occult and of those extra-terrestrial in origin. They possess centuries worth of lore and weaponry that were far ahead of their time thanks to their encounters with Starspawn and other terrors. Though they are adept at seeking out and battling other-worldly monstrosities, their true specialization lies in the gathering of both data and artifacts.
The zenith of the organization came during the Second World War, and came close to unleashing horrible forces that would have turned the tide of the conflict in favor of the Axis until their plans were thwarted by Nick Fury’s Howling Commandos and the Invaders led by Captain America.
The surviving members of the Obskura Korps moved on to establish the similarly-themed Department of Occult Warfare that serves Hydra, and is even considered the basis for the formation of SHADOW Company.
The 1800s up to World War I
Obskura Korps soldiers during World War I wearing their then-prototype environmental hazard suits that protected them not only from the poison gas weapons used by both sides, but from the effects of the airborne Insania Virus.
Under great secrecy, the original unit was merged with then fledgling Deutsches Heer (German Imperial Army) at the height of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. It was composed of a ragtag band of the Order of the Dark Rapture led by the being known as Shroud. The small group of followers included Shroud’s taciturn apprentice Marzanna Kriegvogel
- a future member of Kill Team Edelweiss.
Posing as a religious group that provided medical services to the frontline troops, they would perform clandestine tasks ranging from missions that would benefit the Imperial Army (assassination, sabotage, intelligence-gathering, etc.) to ventures that would prove beneficial to the cause of the Dark Rapture such as the accumulation of Starspawn artifacts and the capture of live alien specimens.
As the influence of the secretive organization grew, they abandoned the original tradition of being an all-female group and started recruiting and training males, preferring the most exceptionally fit and disciplined troops of Deutsches Heer and giving birth to the actual Obskura Korps.
The outbreak of the Insania Virus in 1912 turned the desolate battlefields of the Balkan Wars and the Great War (First World War) into a Valhalla for undead abominations and Starspawn and became the first true testing ground for the well-equipped Obskura Korps kommandos. The conflict also proved Nightshade’s brilliance as a combat tactician and infiltrator.
An Obskura Korps machinegun team in action during the Battle of the Somme.
The Great War, in particular, gave the chance for the Obskura Korps to test different forms of chemical weapons namely poison gas against enemy personnel where their vapor masks, chem suits and armor made them nearly unstoppable. Such questionable methods gave the Imperial Army tactical advantages during important operations such as the First Battle of the Ypres and the Spring Offensive of 1918.
Interwar Years and The Innsmouth Incident
The massacre of the Hybrids at Innsmouth.
The defeat of Imperial Germany in 1918 and the abolition of the Deutsches Heer saw the Obskura Korps go underground, but later resurface as a mercenary company that offered its services to any nation or organization that required the use of its kommandos and their technology.
One of the Korps’ most notable operations was leading an attack on the small town of Innsmouth in the United States and successfully (and brutally) purging it of its Hybrid inhabitants and the creatures known as Deep Ones that spawned them.
World War II
Armored Obskura Korps kommandos led by a fanatical officer of the 13th Waffen SS Paranormal Division.
The rise of the Nazis brought the Obskura Korps back into the folds of the newly-established Wehrmacht. The tactics, technology as well as the long exemplary record of the Korps brought the attention of Heinrich Himmler who officially inducted the unit into his private army the Waffen Schutzstaffel. Though it was re-organized, re-equipped and given the official designation of 13th Waffen SS Paranormal Division, the original members still referred themselves as the Obskura Korps.
Strong yet unstable, Obskura Korps Stormtruppen are sent in as last-resort suicide units equipped with a good deal of explosives and poison gas weapons.
The new division saw much action on the Eastern Front. Starting with the invasion of the USSR during Operation Barbarossa, the Korps battled both the Soviets as well as alien abominations. Their most controversial role in the conflict was their use of concentration camp prisoners for various experiments including the testing of new chemical weapons, the various strains of the Insania Virus and possible cures.
The Paranormal Division’s dabbling with Warp magic, advanced technology such as robotics, and their genetic-altering program that created the imperfect yet still powerful Stormtruppen (storm troopers) put them at odds with Allied special operations units such as the OSS (Office of Strategic Services).
As the tides of the war turned against Nazi Germany, the 13th Waffen SS was ready to put their secret weapons to use. The plan was never put into action as the division’s headquarters was raided by the Howling Commandos led by Nick Fury and the superhero team the Invaders led by Captain America. The operation effectively destroyed all of the robotic constructs and man-made abominations, while only a handful of Obskura Korps members, mostly officers, escaped death or capture.
The Cold War and Beyond
Post-war Obskura Korps kommandos under Allied service dealing with escaped Nazis.
Although the power and influence of the Obskura Korps waned after 1945, scattered remnants of the organization found employment in a number of factions including the CIA, SHIELD, and the KGB. A significant number of its personnel (and weaponry) was acquired by Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker and integrated them into his Hydra network. This new unit became known as the DOW or Department of Occult Warfare which continued to act as a thorn on the side of the SHIELD and the superhero community for decades.
The Korps’ most important member, the Deadly Nightshade, played the role of the mercenary to the hilt, showing no loyalty and switching employers when it deemed fit. The raven-haired Revenant assassin was later recruited by Kimberly Anne Foxglove into the ranks of SHADOW Company, whose own table of organization and equipment and objectives were inspired by the Obskura Korps.
Though the Obskura Korps technically no longer exists, its legacy still lives on in groups such as SHADOW Company.