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Alexi Garnoff was first seen as the leader of a group of mutants consisting of Mentac, Concussion, Siberian Tiger, and Iron Curtain. They were opposing the Soviet Government, which viewed mutants as threats towards humanity's survival. As such, mutants were forced to band together in subversive hideaways in an elaborate safe-house system. A German member of the KGB named Wolfgang Heinrich, also known as the Doppelganger was capturing and vivisecting mutants. When the original X-Factor team came to the USSR to investigate, Doppelganger captured Iceman and posed as him. Garnoff and Iron Curtain rescued Iceman, who helped these exiles raid the Doppelganger's facility and with X-Factor brought the mutants to safety. He was depowered on M-Day.
Alexi Garnoff was created by Bob Layton in 1986 and first appeared in X-Factor Annual # 1.
The cyborg assassin, Firefox, under orders from Project: Remont, soon infiltrated the safe-houses looking for mutant runaways. He brutally killed many mutants until Blind Faith called for the abandonment of the safe-house system and escaped with five other mutants Vanguard, Darkstar,