Red Guardian (Alexi Shostakov)

Profile

  • Real Name: Alexi Alanovich Shostakov
  • AKA: Ronin
  • Family: Black Widow (ex-wife)
  • Base of Operation: Various KGB and military headquarters in the Soviet Union, later a secret base in the People’s Republic of China
  • Identity: Secret Identity
  • Citizenship: Russian
  • Martial Status: Divorced
  • Occupation: Former test pilot, special operative for the intelligence agencies of the Soviet Union and of the People’s Republic of China
  • Education: 
  • Gender: Male
  • Height: 6′ 2″ (1.88 m)
  • Weight: 220 lbs (99.79 kg)
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Hair: Red
  • Origin: Human
  • Universe: Marvel Prime Universe (Earth-616)

He was the first Red Guardian to appear in comics (but the second overall). Introduce in Avengers #43 (1967) by Roy Thomas and John Buscema, Alexi was a high decorated test pilot for the Soviet Union. The government arranged for him to be married to Natasha Romanov, who was portrayed as a famous ballerina. The KGB faked his death in order for him to go into training to become the Red Guardian, the Russian’s answer to Captain America. It was his “death” that cause Natasha to work with the KGB as the Black Widow as a spy in America. When he learnt that she had defected to the West, he kidnapped her and revealed who he was. The Avengers went to rescue her and in the ensuing battle, he was killed when his allies interfered in with his honourable battle with Captain America.

He would later believed to have returned when the Russian’s tricked Natasha in stealing a component for the LMD but this turned out to be another LMD. He would also be part of the Legion of the Unliving (twice). It turned out he was alive and was living in Bulgaria, where he arranged for Natasha to be part of a hostage exchange for Viper. He was captured by SHIELD after but eventually was seen working with the Dark Ocean Society using the Ronin persona. He later teamed up with the Yelena Belova in order to turn over a new leaf.

Despite being one of the shortest tenures of the character, Alexi is actually who people think of when they think of Red Guardian. The Red Guardian costume did get a figure in the Captain America Civil War Giant man wave. He technically also got his Ronin costume as part of a 2-pack with Electra but that was before he took up the mantle of Ronin.


Second Red Guardian

Recommend Figure:  Hasbro Marvel Legends Captain America: Civil War Giant-man wave – Red Guardian

  • Background:
    • While it was later revealed that this costume is based on the WWII version, when he first appeared, the costume was basically a Russian version of Captain America’s costume, complete with his own shield. It would be this design that would inspire the later incarnations of Red Guardian, both male and female.
  • Why you need it for your collection?:
    • While a much more obscure character there are several types of collections I would recommend getting this for. The obvious one is for your Black Widow collection (this character particularly). You can also use it for Cap villains. A Number of Red Guardians were also a member of the Winter Guard/ Soviet Super-Soldier/etc, so if you want to build a Russian team you can used this. Lastly, if you want to build a collection of only National Super-heroes, like Captain America and Canada’s Guardian, then you will need this for your Russian member.
  • Does it need a remake?:
    • No

Dark Ocean Society’s Ronin

Recommend Figure:  Hasbro Marvel Legends 2-packs – Ronin with Elektra

  • Background:
    • After many years of being believed dead, Alexi returned as a member of the Dark Ocean Society. To hid his identity, he took up the mantle of Ronin and began outfitting his troop with mass produced versions of other Russian heroes, like Crimson Dynamo.
  • Why you need it for your collection?:
    • While you will need it for your New Avengers, you won’t need it for this character as it was version short lived and the figure is extremely hard to come by nowadays.
  • Does it need a remake?:
    • Yes.

Needs

Below you will find a gallery of suits that still need to be made. I have included what I think are the possibilities of them being made. Note that these are my personal opinions and not fact. Please let me know if I have missed anything.