MCU Black Widow marks the live-action debut of Red Guardian, a super-soldier of Russian descent. Here what we know about him till now.
Black Widow is one of the most anticipated movies of MCU today. As fate would have it, the pandemic pushed its release date further. Thankfully the latest trailer was out in mid-January and has been giving the fans a lot to speculate. And one of the most exciting moments among these is a costumed David Harbour in action. He will be playing the role of the Red Guardian, Marvel’s version of a Russian counterpart of Captain America in Black Widow.
Watch: Black Widow Trailer| May 2021
David Harbour’s Thoughts on being Russian Captain America
Stranger Things 4 and Extraction actor David Harbour joins the MCU as Red Guardian in Black Widow. He has previously played Hellboy (2019), a character from Dark Horse Comics, and Black Widow is his 2nd movie as a superhero.
While speaking to ComicBookMovie.com about the character, he said, “He grew up in the Soviet Union during the arms race. He was a soldier. He was chosen for this program as the Americans were developing weapons and, of course, Captain America.”
What are the origins of Russian Captain America in Marvel comic?
Let us see how it all began with the Red Guardian. Alexi Shostakov, AKA the Red Guardian, was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist John Buscema for Marvel. The character made his debut in a 1967 issue of The Avengers and was a famous “star” fighter pilot of the Soviet Union during World War II. His immense loyalty and courage earned him the chance to become the Red Guardian. The Red Guardian was an answer to USA’s Captain America. And just like Captain America, the title of the Red Guardian was also a mantel passed down for generations.
In Marvel comics, Red Guardian’s skills are not the result of any “lab experiment.” He is not a super-soldier, and neither does he have the superhuman strength or the skills of Captain America. And although he does have a shield, it is no more than a medium-sized disc. It can detach from his belt and returns to him after being thrown, thanks to the embedded magnets.
What’s Red Guardian’s Relationship With Black Widow?
While we have no idea what kind of relationship Balck Widow and Red Guardian will share in the film, here’s what the relationship is in the comics. Frankly, Alexi Shostakov and Natalie Romanoff (Natalie Romanova in the comics) were husband and wife. This was before Alexi enters the Red Guardian program that forces him to lose all ties with his past. And so Natasha is informed that Alexi is dead, and then she too is drafted into the KGB, the secret security agency of the Soviet Union. Later she becomes a part of the Avengers as Black Widow. She would eventually face Red Guardian and come to the shocking realization that he is none other than her husband.
What To Expect From David Harbour in the MCU?
As seen in the trailer, the character does have a resemblance to Captain America. This is visible in the suit he wears as well as his shield. The only thing that separates him from Captain America is his physique, which is, frankly, out of shape considering Captain America’s buffed-up body. However, this is all that we know till now. But we can be sure that we will find out more about his relation to Captain America in the movie itself.
Black Widow will hit the theatres on May 7th, 2021. The story will take place right after Captain America: Civil War with Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) on the run as a vigilante. She teams up with her former comrades, agents Yelena (Florence Pugh) and Melanie (Rachel Weisz), along with Red Guardian to take down Taskmaster, the villain of the movie.