Rudol von Stroheim
Stroheim is introduced as a Nazi Major researching and experimenting on the Pillar Man, Santana. After a close call with death, he is eventually repurposed as a cyborg and promoted to a Colonel. His unit cooperates with the Speedwagon Foundation and the Ripple users to stop the threat of the Pillar Men.
Stroheim is a tall, well-built man with masculine facial features. He has a flattop haircut that appears particularly wide.
Later, he acquires complex metallic cybernetic prosthetic implants, such as the section of his face surrounding his right eye, which is additionally covered by a sort of monocle. His arms and entire abdomen are replaced, with his torso housing a powerful machine gun.
Rudol von Stroheim is a cruel and callous Nazi Major of the Waffen-SS. His introduction paints him as a comically sadistic man. He executes a group of locals to become part of his experiments, threatens to cut off a maid's tongue, and uses a serum to forcibly extract information from Speedwagon. He is also quite foolish and overconfident in his own schemes to account for failure.
Stroheim has a certain respect for strength, believing only the great should live. He displays bravery when the situation calls for it, but otherwise he typically panics and yelps. He is willing to sacrifice himself for Nazi Germany, going as far as to blow himself up to stop Santana from escaping. Even Joseph is shocked to see how willing he is to show his guts. He assists Joseph and his entourage, and his involvement in the final battle is critical to Kars and his vampire army's defeat.
Stroheim's key trait is his enthusiastic nationalism. He is very prideful of Nazi Germany, and boasts about its technological superiority often. He is particularly proud of his cyborg body and notably taunts Kars about its strength being greater than Santana's. He is arrogantly confident about the strength of his country, and fails quite a few times spectacularly. He underestimates all of his enemies, and the failure of the Nazi army to contain the Pillar Men nearly dooms the world.
As a Major in the SS, Stroheim is seemingly a competent leader of his battalion. He commands with ease and confidently believes in his ability to succeed no matter what. In the most dire situations, Stroheim's eminent pride in Nazi Germany will make him unquestionably sacrifice himself to further its aims.
In terms of combat expertise, it is presumed he is capable of performing the most basic of military skills with ease, including assembling and disassembling military weapons, and making efficient use of said weapons.
The Pillar Man, Santana
- Main article: The Pillar Man, Santana (story arc)
Stroheim is a Nazi SS officer who accepts the mission of going to Mexico and study one of the Pillar Men, thinking it is a quick way to earn a promotion. Taking over a luxurious hacienda in the desert, Stroheim makes it his personal fortress and laboratory, where he is free to torment the servants. Stroheim takes an injured Robert E. O. Speedwagon to his base. To quickly acquire the needed information regarding the Pillar Men and Speedwagon's own life, he uses a truth serum.
Stroheim orders preparation for the experiment to begin. He orders a Vampire starved and locked to test the Pillar Man and visits the prisoners' cell, where locals are put to be later used as food. One prisoner tries to attack him but Stroheim puts a broken pencil in his mouth and uppercuts him. Impressed when a young boy wants to sacrifice himself, Stroheim congratulates him and spares him; instead he orders his guards to execute everyone else. Showing off the cell that is specially designed to contain the Pillar Man, Stroheim begins the injection of blood in the pillar, waking up the man. Dubbing the individual "Santana" after the warm winds of Mexico, Stroheim is initially amused to see him slip on the wet ground, thinking of Santana as a primitive being. He sics the starved Vampire on Santana, but witness with fear Santana effortlessly absorb the Vampire. Still confident in his cell, Stroheim is nonetheless shocked to hear Santana speak the modern language. Suddenly, Santana disappears. It is shown that the Pillar Man could twist his body to fit inside of a small opening leading to an air duct.
Santana reappears in the control room and possesses a German soldier. Seeing that the experiment is now out of his control, Stroheim orders his men to fire but the possessed soldier shoots the bullets back at them with his fingers. Thankfully, Joseph Joestar reveals himself and protects both Stroheim and Speedwagon. Stroheim witnesses Joseph battle Santana but eventually, Joseph is too tired to drag the Pillar Man to the surface. Stroheim steps in and leaps to open the door, only to be hindered by pieces of Santana. Out of options, Stroheim tells Joseph to cut off his leg with an axe hanged on the wall nearby to free him and allow him to open the door to the surface, and the sun. Joseph reluctantly does so, allowing Stroheim to expose Santana to the sun. However, Santana then enters his body through his leg stump. Cornered, Stroheim eventually sacrifices himself by setting off a grenade against him. Before this, Stroheim takes the take to warn Joseph about three other Pillar Men hidden in Rome and of a contact Speedwagon knows.
Stroheim's Unit Strikes Back
- Main article: Stroheim's Unit Strikes Back (story arc)
Thanks to Nazi science, Colonel Stroheim is revived with cybernetic parts, which heavy weaponry and a strength designed to take on someone like Santana. He is deployed in Switzerland with another unit of soldiers and intercepts the Red Stone of Aja during a train delivery; satisfied, he puts the Stone in his pocket. He also spots the heroes and invites them to his chalet, keeping his identity a secret for the moment. That night, Kars enters the chalet. Stroheim confronts him in the living room just as Joseph barges in. Showing off his strength, Stroheim confidently takes on the Pillar Man and uses his stomach machine gun. However, Kars decides to fight seriously and easily cuts the cyborg in half. Kars takes the Red Stone of Aja, but Stroheim reveals an eye laser he shoots Kars with, making him drop the Stone. Thankfully, Joseph and the Ripple user manage to keep it. Stroheim is sent away for repairs.
The Birth of a Superbeing
- Main article: The Bond That Binds Lisa Lisa and JoJo (story arc)
- Main article: Kars the Superbeing Is Born (story arc)
Stroheim appears yet again at the Piz Berlina Ruins after being reconstructed with the help of the Speedwagon Foundation science division. He, his unit of soldiers and a whole group of agents from the Speedwagon Foundation save Joseph from Kars's vampire army just as Joseph was getting overwhelmed. Kars is defeated by Joseph soon after and is sent falling onto a spikes below, where Stroheim and his division blast him with ultraviolet light. They fail to realize, however, that Kars had donned a Stone Mask with the Aja and are dumbstruck when he achieves his ultimate form and begins killing them off with a squirrel formed from his right hand.
After Joseph hijacks a Nazi aircraft to lure Kars away, Stroheim reveals himself in the side wing of the plane just before it goes plummeting into an active volcano. After pinning Kars to the front end of the aircraft by shooting his rocket fist at him, he pulls Joseph out of the plane and cushions their fall by sacrificing his cybernetic legs. Stroheim is left helpless as Kars is shown to survive the crash in the lava, but fortunately, Joseph makes the volcano erupts when Kars' Ripple collides with the Red Stone of Aja, launching both Joseph and him into the air. Stroheim eventually returns to the rest of the group and reports Joseph's supposed death.
After the battle with Kars, Stroheim had Joseph Joestar's severed left hand replaced with a mechanical one as a gift but he never meets Joseph again. He dies at the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943.
Chapters / Episodes
- “Kid! Our races may be different but I respect those like you who have courage! Only the great should live!... Kill everyone besides him.”
- “I may not seem it but I'm a proud German soldier. I was already prepared for this when I accepted this mission! I'm different from you cowardly British wimps. I'd easily give up 2 or 3 limbs for my country!”
- “The greatness of humans is when they face fear with pride.”
- “You fool! Nazi science is the greatest in the world! (ブァカ者がァアアアアナチスの科学は世界一チィィィィ！！Baka mono ga! Nachisu no kagaku wa sekai ichiǃ)”
- “My body is the result of the most advanced technology of the German people and I'm proud of iiit!! In other words, I'm above every other human being!!”
- “Nazi technology is world class!!!”
- Stroheim's hair and eventual monocled visage appear to be based on an illustration by Antonio Lopez.