In a way the Red Guardian is another country’s way of saying ‘they did it so we can do it’ which is a feeling that’s been expressed between different nations for a long, long time. As a character within the Marvel universe he doesn’t really have a huge story that goes for issues and issues but he was important enough to bring back considering that there’s now a Black Widow movie coming out and it’s going to be pertinent to show just what her life was like earlier on and who was in it. In a way it’s kind of frustrating to realize that he’s just a byproduct in someone else’s story but to be honest his own story does get fleshed out just enough to make it clear as to who he was and why he was important at the time. If nothing else he’s the kind of character that can be credited with helping to develop on of the most popular characters in the MCU today.
Here are a few things you might not have known about the Red Guardian.
10. He was married to Black Widow.
This was before she became the Black Widow obviously since when Alexi and Natasha were married they hadn’t yet been recruited for their new tasks and were more or less average citizens that didn’t warrant much attention.
9. Initially he was supposed to be the Russian counter to Captain America.
Obviously when a hero like Captain America, a man who is reputed for socking Hitler in the face, rises to prominence, other countries are going to take that as kind of a challenge to see if they can produce the same kind of soldier that can bring just as much prestige to their people.
8. He’s fought Captain America before.
He did lock up with Cap in the past, but it was apparent that Cap was well beyond him since he was thrashing Red Guardian before being taken down by an electrified grid. Red Guardian saw this as an affront to his honor since he wanted to face Cap on his own.
7. Eventually he sacrificed himself to save the Avengers.
It was a final act of sacrifice that brought his end and it was kind of a fitting end to the first character since it created a lot more sympathy for his life and the things he’d been pushed into for so long. In this manner it was possible to see Red Guardian as more than just a tool of the Soviet Union.
6. At one point he was brought back from the dead.
A lot of characters don’t tend to stay dead in the Marvel universe since they all seem to have a purpose to fill at one point or another, whether it’s being used as a pawn or being given a definite purpose so as to harass those that cared about them in the past.
5. He took on the identity of Ronin.
Hawkeye wasn’t the only person that took on this identity as Alexi would become Ronin for a while as he became an enemy yet again and would harass the Avengers a few times before he was written out of the picture again.
4. Initially he was a test pilot.
Alexi was honestly not much more than a test pilot that hadn’t gained any more attention than anyone else back in his day. In fact if not for the need of the Soviet Union to produce their own hero it’s easy to see that he might never have been created.
3. David Harbour is going to be playing the character for the MCU.
Obviously Harbour can play a muscular and decked out character like Red Guardian, but as Allie Gemmill from Inverse might agree with, it’s going to be interesting to see if they play this to the source material or if his character will be altered somehow. Plus, how funny is it that in Stranger Things he was fighting Russians, and now he gets to play one?
2. The mantle of Red Guardian has been taken up by more than one person.
Alexi was only the first of many Red Guardians as this mantle has been passed on a few times and has been seen to be more important than the person who is wearing the outfit. Unlike Cap, this mantle has been taken on by more than a few different people. Cap might have passed it on to Falcon and there was of course a US Agent, but the Red Guardian mantle has managed to pass on to even more people.
1. The Red Guardian has always been human without any supernatural abilities.
This character never benefited from a super soldier serum like Captain America did, so he was a person that existed at peak levels of performance and nothing else. He was a great fighter, but not much else.
It’ll be fun to see Harbour play this character.