Character Close Up

Red Guardian

The Red Guardian is Russia’s answer to Captain America—a symbol of Soviet strength and patriotism. While there is a proud lineage of those who have carried the mantle, the Red Guardian’s legacy tells its own story…

Patriot of the Proletariats

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Alexi Shostakov

in Avengers (1963) #43

The first appearance of the Red Guardian! Chinese ally Colonel Ying finds the perfect superweapon in KGB agent Alexi Shostakov. Hawkeye and Hercules are the first to meet this “Communist comrade”, before it’s revealed that Shostakov is actually Black Widow’s ex-husband! Read through #44.

Alexi’s Life Model Decoy

in Widow Maker (2010) #1

A new Ronin, (not Clint Barton), is targeting the world’s top spies. The trio of Black Widow, Hawkeye and Mockingbird cross oceans to find the masked man, all ending with a twist that reveals his deep ties to Natasaha Romanoff and the Red Room.

Dr. Tania Belinsky (Belinskaya)

in Defenders (1972) #35

Read through #65! The neurosurgeon would become one of the Defenders’ fiercest members (and later the hero Starlight), but at first she was just a lonely dissident with a costume and a cause.

Josef Petkus

in Captain America (1968) #352

After a handful of Russian super soldiers defect to the States, Cap wards off an attack by the enthusiastic “Supreme Soviets”, led by possibly the Red Guardian’s third or fourth hire, Josef Petkus. Read through #353!

Krassno Granitsky

in Captain America (2004) #1

This critical favorite actually opens with a Red Guardian! Granitsky meets the wrong end of a barrel when he accuses General Aleksander Lukin of high crimes against Mother Russia…

“Anton”

in Hulk: Winter Guard (2009) #1

Not much is known about “Anton”, other than he’s being an engineer and a partial LMD. This issue will have you saying “bozhe moi!” when the Winter Guard, Red Guardian, Crimson Dynamo, Ursa Major and Darkstar, take on nuclear mega-brain the “Presence”.

Nicolai Krylenko

in Darkstar and the Winter Guard (2010) #1

It’s hammer (and sickle) time as the Winter Guard rises under its seventh Red Guardian! Krylenko may be humorless, but he leads his collective well when a former Winter Guard member falls through a giant wormhole bearing a “death to us all” prophecy.