As Marvel Studios has once again postponed Black Widow‘s release, it gives us some time to brush up on our comic history. The film will focus on Natasha Romanoff’s history with the Red Room. It is a top-secret Soviet institute that turned young women into elite assassins. Of course, Natasha was once a member before joining S.H.I.E.L.D. at an unknown point. The upcoming film will dive deep into the various characters from her past who all may have deep ties with the secret organization. So, let’s use this opportunity to dive deep into the various characters in 400 words or less.
It is easy to call Red Guardian a carbon copy of Captain America. It ironically is also the point of his character. The character first appeared in The Avengers #43. Roy Thomas and John Buscema created him as the Soviet’s answer to the iconic American hero. Alexi Alanovich Shostakov was a successful pilot that was presented as a hero by Soviet media. He ended up marrying the famous ballerina, Natasha Romanova. They both started working for the KGB as a result of his acclaims. He was enrolled in a secret mission that was kept top-secret. They told Natasha he had perished in an experimental rocket testing, which would be her inspiration to become the spy we all know and love. Alexi, however, was a changed man after his training. The now much crueler and ruthless person. In a conflict with the Red Chinese, the Russians used the opportunity to test out if their copy could keep up with the original. Many others would take on the mantle. In total, seven people held the Red Guardian title.
Stranger Things‘ David Harbour will portray Alexei Shostakov’s version of the iconic hero. They have changed the roles this time around, as Alexei will act as a father figure rather than her former husband. By the time Natasha returns to Russia, he seems to have been trapped in a Gulag for some time. He also is highlighted as a flawed individual that is trying to get his makeshift family back together. We also get a look at him potentially having some abilities, so he might have the same serum that was used on Winter Soldier. It will be interesting if we explore his history to showcase the parallels between him and Steve Rogers.