Valko Balakov
Biographical Information
  • Human
  • Possessed by an Ancient One




Character Information

Ancient One (Host)


Bulgarian Crime Boss

Real World Information
First Appearance:

Vol. 3 Issue 103

"I want to be adored."
Valko Balakov to the Doppelganger. [src]

Valko Balakov is a Bulgarian crime boss and Jackie Estacado's rival in New Jersey's criminal underworld. It is later revealed that he is the vessel of an Ancient One.  

Biography Edit

Early Life Edit

Valko was born in a hard working middle class family in Bulgaria. His father was a decorator, while his mother took in washing and mending to make ends meet. Valko never knew what poverty was and he mostly was treated with kindness. From his late teens he was an informer for the state police. Then with arrival of democracy, like many of his contemporaries, he moved into drugs, prostitution and gun-running.

On the streets of Sofia, he was known as a low-level hit man and had no ambitions beyond that, until one night he woke from a troubled sleep with a new vision for his future. In it, Valko remembered a story told by his grandmother about ancient gods who once walked the Earth and could be called back by those with the knowledge. People, like Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Rasputin and Adolf Hitler summoned up the essence of these creatures and used it to control the hearts and minds of nations.

With this vision, Valko set out to find the Book of Power, which contained the location of the heart of the Ancient One. Balakov located the heart in the possession of a Keeper, an ancient crone who lived in the city of Veliko, Tarnovo and was tasked in guarding it. The crone then pulled out his heart and replaced it with the Ancient Ones. The Ancient One then told the crone to keep Balakov's heart safe.

Over small amount of time, Balakov accumulated a lot of power and became a powerful crime boss. Balakov then set out to find the source of disturbance, which opened the portal for Ancient One to enter Earth. This leads him to Jackie Estacado and his home, Erewhon. In order to gain his attention, Balakov attacks various Jackie's businesses.

War with Jackie Estacado Edit

After the Doppelganger kills fifteen men working for Balakov, he decides to meet with Jackie. Jackie and Balakov, accompanied by Athena, Paris and two Bulgarian henchmen respectively, meet in the Central Park during day. Estacado says that he wants Balakov out of his city. Balakov denies to leave and then insults him. As a counter attack, Paris calls Balakov an impotent and having sex with his sister. After hearing this, Balakov decides to leave. As Balakov drives away, he tells to stop the car and then proceeds to explode his henchmen heads.

Balakov sends his people to invade Jackie's home. Before they can do that they see Jenny and Hope leaving. Balakov then orders to bring them to him as he kills his henchmen, who couldn't show him video feed of Erewhon. He's then visited by Aram, who decides to alliance with him in order to kill the Darkness. Aram informs Balakov that Jackie is going to send the Darkness after him. Balakov isn't scared saying that he's much older and powerful then the Darkness, Witchblade or the Angelus.

When the Doppelganger infiltrates Balakov's home, he's weakned by Aram's presence. Aram explains to Balakov that the Doppelganger isn't Jackie, but an entity created by the Darkness. Balakov then confronts the Doppelganger, but the latter unleashes the Darkness and summons Darklings to aid him. Balakov in response shoots out tentacles out of his body. The Doppelganger asks what is he and Aram explains that when he was a witch-king, he drew his power from the last traces of the powers that held sway before the Darkness existed. The entities were known as the Ancient Ones and Balakov is one of them. The two then begin to fight.

During their fight, the Doppelganger and Balakov fall through ceiling, were they meet Jackie and Aram. Jackie immediately shoots Balakov in the head, knocking him out. As Aram checks on Balakov, the latter recovers and regenerates back his head. Balakov then reveals that more Ancients Ones are coming to Earth. Aram asks him how did he manage to return back to Earth. Balakov says that the barriers that guarded the portals to this world have weakened. Balakov then offers possessing Aram's body, but the latter rejects. Aram then asks why did he came to America and Balakov answers that the source of disturbance in the world is located in Erewhon, Jackie's home and that's where he will go after he recovers.

Erewhon Edit

After Balakov recovers he travels to Erewhon, were he kills Jackie's guards guarding the house. Balakov then locates the source of disturbance in the world, which turns out to be Jenny herself. As he proceeds to touch her, he's stopped by Hope in her Darkness form who proceeds to attack him. Balakov eventually manages to subdue her, but Jackie and Aram come to help her. He expresses that one day, Hope will be far greater than Jackie ever was.

The Doppelganger then comes through a portal and then confronts Balakov. Suddenly, Jenny awakes and is terrified by the people in the room. Aram calms her down by using hypnosis on her, causing her to relive the best moment in her life. As Jackie is in no fit to fight, Aram orders him to take care of Jenny. Balakov then calms down both the Doppelganger and Hope, saying that it was Jenny who opened the portals to his home and invited him into this world.

Not believing what Balakov has said, Hope attacks him. The Doppelganger quickly calms her down as he and Aram wants to find out more about this disturbance created by Jenny's existence. Balakov explains that the world was destroyed and Jackie used her daughter to recreate it as she was the codex of this universe. But differently from the old world in this new world Jenny was not only alive, but also the mother of Hope. Bringing her back to life altered the nature of the universe and caused Ancient One portals to open up.

Balakov then adds that Hope's real mother was Sara Pezzini. They're then interrupted by Charlotte and Jackie's personal guards who inform the Doppelganger that somebody killed two men from his security team. The Doppelganger says that everything is fine and sends them away.

Back in the bedroom, Balakov announces to make an alliance with the Doppelganger as the Ancient Ones are the Darkness ancestors. The Doppelganger asks Aram if he will too join this alliance, but realizes that he already left the room. Aram then appears behind Jackie and confronts him for what he did to the universe. He reveals that because Jenny is a construct, Hope is now pure Darkness. They're then attacked by Balakov and the Doppelganger. Balakov quickly incapacitates Aram, but the latter manages to teleport away. As they have made alliance, Balakov leaves the Doppelganger to clean up the house and decide what to do with Jackie.

Personality Edit

As the vessel of the Ancient One, Balakov viewed himself as superior to anyone else, especially the Darkness and the rest of the thirteen artifacts. He wanted to bring back his past glory, when humanity worshiped and adored him. Balakov is also very impatient and violent, killing even his own men if they fail to complete his orders.

Powers & Abilities Edit

Powers Edit

Balakov is the vessel of an Ancient One. This parasitic being within his body provides him with a variety of superhuman physical abilities:

  • Ancient One: Balakov is the host of ancient being known as the Ancient One, which gives him access to supernatural abilities.
    • Immortality: The Ancient One within Balakov is well over 10,000 years old and boasts to be older than The Darkness and the other Thirteen Artifacts.
    • Supernatural Strength: Balakov was able to challenge The Doppelganger/The Darkness is direct physical combat, causing the ceiling of his mansion to collapse.
    • Regeneration: Balakov regrew his whole head after Jackie had shot it to bits.
    • Invulnerability: The Ancient One greatly increases Balakov's durability and stamina threshold. Bullets and decapitation only slow him down or render him unconscious. It is currently unknown what, if anything, can kill Balakov.
    • Cosmic Awareness: Balakov seems to have a higher comprehension of time, space, and magic. Despite this power, Balakov was unaware of Jackie's presence.
    • Parasitic Possession: The Ancient One within Balakov can take possession of another being through heart transfusion.

Weaknesses Edit

  • Balakov's Heart: The only known way to kill Balakov is to destroy his heart. If this happens, Balakov would immediately die and render his body useless to the Ancient One. Although the Ancient One itself possessing him, wouldn't be affected by this.

Trivia Edit

  • The Ancient One controlling Valko Balakov seems to be unique among his brethren as even other Ancient Ones addressed him as Balakov instead of another Ancient One.

Gallery Edit

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