Ilsa Grunt was Augustus Steranko's personal assistant, as well as his top assassin. She secretly had affections for her employer, and was fiercely jealous of his outward girlfriend Areola Canasta. A small, midget-like woman, Ilsa was far more dangerous and cunning than she appeared. Her primary means of eliminating her enemies was a necklace that could unfurl into a razor-sharp metallic bullwhip. Her secondary means was Zigesfeld, her and Steranko's feral henchman whom she cared for like a son, and whose loyalty she commanded before Steranko's.
Ilsa played a vital role in Steranko's evil plans. When Steranko's informant in British Intelligence, Kelly, informed her of the impending arrival of American CIA agent Michael Corben, Ilsa personally went to American and killed the hapless agent. However, while on the plane flight back to France she took note of an high school student also named Michael Corben, and assumed she had killed a decoy, and that Kelly had lied to her. Thus once they arrived in Paris, she told Zigesfeld (there to pick her up) to follow and kill Corben.
Later, her rivalry with Areola would come to a head after Zigesfeld failed to kill Corben and Steranko sent Areola instead. Infuriated, Ilsa told Zigesfeld to kill both of them. Ilsa's relationship with Steranko became increasingly strained after this; his insistence upon keeping Corben alive rather than killing him outright annoyed her. Ultimately, she learned too late how little Steranko thought of her while they were attempting to escape in his helicopter. The aircraft was weighed down by all the gold Steranko insisted they bring with them, and when told they needed to lighten the load, Steranko threw Ilsa out instead of the gold.