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Red Guardian (Lebedev) (Marvel Comics)

Red Guardian

(Aleksey Lebedev)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

The Red Guardian is an identity that has been used by a series of Soviet, then Russian super-heroes. Aleksey Lebedev is thought to have been the man who created this tradition, during the Great Patriotic War.

There is precious little material about this guy, but gathering what data exists about the birth of a flagship costumed identity in a major country sounded useful.


Background

  • Real Name: Aleksey Lebedev
  • Other Aliases: Volodymyr Fomin
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed, most deceased
  • Group Affiliation: Agent of Josef Stalin, leader of an unnamed Soviet super-team
  • Base Of Operations: USSR
  • Height: 6’ Weight: 188 lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

The Red Guardian seems typical of the Allied wartime two-fisted super-heroes. Though there is not much material about him, the stock Golden Age greater-than-life hero stats used above are probably close enough for tractor-building factory work.

Lebedev was seldom seen using his pistol, and usually preferred hand-to-hand combat even against multiple armed opponents.


History

Aleksey Lebedev was an heroic, muscular, square-jawed worker wearing industrial coveralls. What else for a hero of the Soviet Union ?

In 1939, he rescued a woman and her child from a burning building during a shelling. To ward off the flames, he covered himself and the child in the red flag, presumably soaked in water to protect them both.

This patriotic feat of heroism made a huge impression on nearby workers and soldiers. Furthermore, the child was the child of an important Red Army official. The Guardian was made into a hero and symbol by Stalin . Furthermore, he received a costume inspired by both other allied super-heroes and the flag he wore during his exploit.

This took place in 1941, after Barbarossa and Captain America’s debut.

Secondary sources mention that Lebedev was enlisted in a special training program to create a super-agent, inspired by similar attempts in other countries such as Weapon Plus.

Великая Отечественная война

During the war, our hero had his entire family massacred by Schutzstaffel troops . This resulted in a vendetta between the Guardian and the SS that lasted to the bitter end. Reportedly the massacre followed the SS discovering Red Guardian’s name, and the Soviet government gave Lebedev a new name as part of a program to protect his relatives.

The Red Guardian is known to have worked with Captain America (Steve Rogers) at least once before 1945. They seemed to get along pretty well. All that is know about this encounter is that it wasn’t in Stalingrad.

In 1945, the Red Guardian was sent in Berlin to recover a mysterious strongbox left by Hitler to the Red Skull. The content of the box was to be used to gain revenge on the Allies if even the Sleepers were to fail. Through planning or happenstance, he joined forces with Captain America, the Spirit of ’76 and the Patriot, three American heroes.

They did not recover the strongbox or capture the Red Skull, though. An US air raid made the bunker they were all in collapse, trapping the Red Skull and the box while the three heroes narrowly escaped. The Skull, though a freak happenstance involving experimental gases, would enter suspended animation at that point.

Even world wars end

At Yalta, the first Red Guardian was part of a special security detachment along with Namor and the new Captain America. Although the new Cap was antagonistic and abrasive toward his Red counterpart, all three managed to narrowly save the signatories from a Nazi scientist. The Guardian personally rescued Stalin.

In September of 1946 the Red Guardian led a group of Soviet operatives about whom little is known :

  • the Night Witch (with a Flash Gordon pulp-style rocketpack and energy pistol that could also open warps) (historically, the night witches were an all-women night bombing air unit )
  • the Iron Comrade
  • and reportedly Sunbird and the Proletariat (who wore the same uniform as the Guardian with the red and white switched around – which would by 1940s conventions indicate a sidekick)

They entered the UK to exfiltrate an atomic scientist reportedly selling secrets to the Soviets, but were thwarted by the All-Winners Squad. During the fray, the observant Red Guardian became sure that Captain America was not the man he knew during the war.

Lebedev presumably died during the 1950s. One report states that he was executed for opposing the experiments that created his successor, Alexei Shostakov.


Description

See illustration.


Personality

The first Guardian comes across as a swashbuckling, light-hearted adventurer. While he’s serious about his patriotic duty, he’s a nice chap who prefers to get along with everybody.

The 1946 fight in the UK evidenced that he was an observant, clever fellow and quite capable of subtlety when needed.


Quotes

“It is an honour, Captain. How goes the war in the Pacific, comrades ?”

(After having made a German prisoner so drunk with vodka that he talked) “You see, the Russian way works every time.”

“Do not fear, Americans ! I won’t bite you. I am called the Red Guardian ! Premier Stalin sent me — to locate Adolf Hitler’s strongbox.”

“More S.S. in a side shaft ! They are mine !”


DC Universe History

If you liked the James Robinson’s Golden Age, the Guardian could have helped Manhunter flee from Germany after becoming amnesiac, keeping him away from the NKVD and sending him to America as soon as he could.

Starting to disapprove of Stalin’s policies after the war, the Guardian was purged by Stalin, using the hated Stalnoivolk as the executioner. His death was faked as an heroic sacrifice for the Rodina in a secret mission.

Trying to maintain his legacy alive, a series of men have assumed the identity. The last of them was Leonid Konstantinovitch Kovar, aka Red Star.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Red Guardian

Dex: 07 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Thrill
Int: 07 Wil: 06 Min: 07 Occupation: National Hero
Inf: 07 Aur: 06 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 025 HP: 045

Skills:
Acrobatics: 05, Charisma: 07, Martial artist: 06, Thief (Stealth): 05, Vehicles (Land): 05, Weaponry: 07

Advantages:
Language (Russian), Lightning Reflexes, Local Hero (USSR)

Connections:
Stalin (Low), Red Army (High)

Drawbacks:
Secret Identity, MIA toward Patriotism, SIH of the SS

Equipment:
Special Handgun [BODY 05, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 12]

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Marvel comics

Helper(s): DC Universe history by Capita Senyera

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