Ivan is an infant who is physically under a year old. He has bowl cut-style hair that covers his blue eyes, and is always seen with a pacifier in his mouth. The color of his hair became set as silver/white in Ishinomori's colored artwork, although it first appeared as blond or pale brown in some of the earliest colored illustrations.
He can usually be seen floating about in some sort of bassinet, due to his inability to walk. Due to being a baby, his team uniform is alternatively rendered as a gown or blanket sleeper. It has the same gold buttons that the other uniforms have. In place of a scarf, he tends to wear a white bib.
His infant age is rather vague, and his level of ability seems to vary depending on the story.
001 is a mild mannered yet very mature infant , whose brain capacity exceeds that of many full grown adults. This, combined with his great intellect, make him one of the most powerful and diverse people on the planet.
He displays a care for humanity, but also can come off ruthless with his "ends justify the means" nature in his abilities and his precise methods of judgment, such as sending 009 into space to defeat Black Ghost, deeming the sacrificial action a necessity. In the story "The Kidnapping", he also uses his mind control ability to give a grieving mother visions of a life where her deceased infant got to grow up, and then proceeds to wipe her memories of her child in order to make her move on with her life and give her happiness.
Due to his infant age and small size, he still requires the regular care that an average baby would.
Abilities and PowersEdit
Due to having been experimented on by his father in an attempt to unlock the mysteries of the human mind, 001's brain was greatly enhanced, which lead to further modifications by Black Ghost.
These enhancements granted him a great intelligence, which would give him the knowledge to design complex and powerful machines, as well as to act as a strategist. The alterations to his mind also allowed him to access psychic abilities such telepathy, psychokinesis, precognition, the teleportation of people close to him, and to control people and machines.
However, despite these great powers, 001 is still at risk because of his small and fragile body. He is able to stay awake for 15 days without rest, before falling back to sleep for the same amount of days. However, he can awaken in times of crisis. Other weaknesses include electromagnetic interference, and being susceptible to injury due to lacking the bodily enhancements present in the other cyborgs. He is also unable to age due to his atypical sleep schedule, as well as the fact that his growth was stunted by his cybernetic enhancements.
His teleportation also comes with limits, with him usually being unable to teleport other living beings unless they are unconscious or on the brink of death. His powers also cannot reach beyond the atmosphere. However, his abilities seem to evolve over the course of the manga.
Some time after Ivan was born, his father, a scientist named Gamo Whisky, decided to experiment on him with the intent of trying to solve the mysteries of the human mind. Gamo was caught in the act by his wife Erika, who threatened to inform the cops of his unethical and cruel experiments on their son. After he beat her to death, he was approached by Black Ghost agents, who brought him to their facilities.
With his brain enhancements already in place, Ivan was further experimented on until Black Ghost no longer had a reason to keep him. Formulating a plan with the other 00 Cyborgs, the newly-formed team escaped from Black Ghost and managed to steal one of their submarines, setting off for Japan.
For most of the story, 001 offers plans of attack and provides direct assistance for the team in times of crisis, such as teleporting injured team members away to safety.
- According to the book "Cyborg 009 a la Cult", Ishinomori had both "Ivan" and "Whisky", as well as the name "White Bear", as candidates for the 001 character's name in his early planning notes. As it appears that he could not pick between the first two, both were merged to create a full name. "White Bear" refers to how the Russian team member was initially drafted to be the strongman of the team, with the "image of a polar bear", before a psychic baby became set as the Russian character instead.
- Ivan's name is rendered as "Iwan" in katakana, partially owing to the Russian pronunciation of the name, as well as being a pun on "one". Due to the way of it being rendered, this causes his name to appear as "Iwon Whisky" or "Iwan Whisky" in some of the official English notations. His surname is also occasionally put down as "Wisky".
- In Ishinomori's notes for "Conclusion GOD'S WAR", it is revealed that the name choice of "Ivan" was inspired by the Russian folklore character "Ivan the Fool". A ship by the same name is used by the team in the Undersea Pyramid arc.
- Due to the fact that Ivan's eyes are hardly shown except in some specific moments (such as using his powers), the manga version is notable for having inconsistent eyes up until the Shonen Sunday run.
- Owing to the dark nature of his backstory, it was not adapted into the '60s media. The 1979 series was the first to delve into his origin, with it being shown as a flashback at the start of episode 42. It also was referenced in the 2001 anime, however, that adaptation toned things down by omitting Erika's death, simply having her plead with her husband and watch in horror as her son was operated on.