5859 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Alexandra Goncharova (Red Star) (Image Comics) with binoculars

Captain Alexandra Goncharova


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

Context

Alexandra is one of the core characters in the particularly cool comic books series The Red Star, which started in 2000.

The Red Star’s United Republics of the Red Star (URRS) is a mythologised version of the real-world USSR circa 1980, but on a world where magic and spirits play a critical role.

After a long and costly quagmire in Al’iistan (magical Afghanistan), the Republics are crumbling. Wars of secession are erupting, particularly in Nokgorka (more or less magical Chechnya). Even the mighty Red Fleet and its immense flying firebases (“skyfurnaces”) is not what it once was, and the corruption amidst the State has become too bad to ignore.

This profile includes S P O I L E R S about a very engaging story.


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The gang’s all there

At the heart of The Red Star story is a close-knit group of friends who were among the most promising graduates of the Citadel Military Academy. These are :

  • Marcus Antares, a powerful athlete, telekineticist and shock trooper. Marcus is the very model of the heroic Red soldier.
  • Urik Antares, Marcus’ older brother by five years. Urik is the commanding officer of the immense ship on which the main story take place, and arranged to have his little brother and his friends all serve on his ship.
  • Maya Antares, née Vlasova. A potent military sorceress (“kaster”) who married Marcus after graduating from the the Citadel.
  • Alexandra Goncharova. Maya’s closest friend since childhood, a vehicles expert commanding one of the units of 400-tonnes main battle tanks (“krawls”) aboard the ship.
  • Renko. Alexandra’s perennial sidekick and lieutenant, always overlooked.
  • Kyuzo. A dour and deadly telekineticist and shock trooper. One of Marcus’ comrades-in-arms, and Maya’s bodyguard (“hailer”).

Background

  • Real Name: Captain Alexandra Goncharova.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: Rudov Galilei (possibly her estranged husband, deceased), Valentina Galilei (aka Makita, estranged daughter), Parents (both deceased, names unrevealed).
  • Base Of Operations: Skyfurnace Konstantinov.
  • Height: About 5’9” Weight: About 130 lbs.
  • Eyes: Green Hair: Light brown


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Powers and Abilities

Captain Goncharova was a crack Red Fleet officer from the staff branch. She commanded a column of super-heavy tanks (“krawls”) carried by the Skyfurnace Konstantinov. Goncharova was the flower of Red soldiers – exceptionally fit, courageous, skilled and driven.

A talented armoured cavalry commander, she was also a redoubtable gunfighter and noted for her hand-to-hand combat skills. Alex was forever flanked by her quasi-sidekick, Lt. Renko.

The Red Star is a low cinematic  power level. In DC Heroes RPG terms, AP levels often peak around 4 or 5. The protagonists have significantly higher Hero Points  than most, though. In good part because “most” have zero to five HPs.

Ordnance

Whereas the modern Red military is ill-equipped, Alex and her troops seemed to have good gear. At the battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate her whole column seemed to be riding Hammer-class main battle krawls.

Alexandra Goncharova and her krawls column being airdropped

However, the decay of the Red military eventually hit them. Thus, at Bahamut part of her men were crewing Dragunov-class self-propelled guns . These much cheaper and less armoured vehicles were ill-suited to the urban battlefield.

Goncharova and her krawlers sported the Kuvalda crew defence weapon. This is a clip-fed shotgun capable of firing single-shot, twin-barrels and automatic. The latter alternatively fires both the lower and the upper barrel. The Kuvaldas issued to krawlers use incendiary armour-piercing slugs, and the compartment holding them include two extra magazines.

Alex and Renko seemed to have enchanted (“protocol-enhanced”) Kuvaldas. They routinely fired these powerful guns one-handed, and didn’t run dry during an extended firefight. Presumably there were recoil-dampening protocols in place. Our DC Heroes RPG stats assume a magically doubled capacity for the magazines (“double protoclip”).

Kuvaldas seem to use caseless ammunition.

God of piston / God of steel / God is here behind the wheel

Alex was both a krawl commander and a combat helicopter pilot. She demonstrated elite-level skills with both. This is not normal, both being full-time military specialities. Lieutenant Renko also seemed at home in either a tank or an helo.

Thus, Goncharova and Renko may have had paranormal talents. The Red Star website mentions that Alex was schooled at Zhinsk, a facility for magically gifted children. However, Goncharova evidenced no magical ability whatsoever. She didn’t even seem to have a special knowledge of magic (“protocols”).

A possible hypothesis is that Goncharova was gifted, but not with the ability to kast protocols like sorceresses do. She may have had something closer to telekinesis. This is usually a talent evidenced by males but known to be possessed by a few women.

In this hypothesis, both Goncharova and Renko had a telekinetic rapport with vehicles. If so, followed a special training program for cadets with this rare ability.

Our DC Heroes RPG stats assume an abnormal level of vehicular skill. This competence seems demonstrated in the stories.

Look good in my steel machine / I’m just working / For the Man

The tanks of the United Republics of the Red Star (URRS) are enormous. The standard krawl in Goncharova’s Eighth Krawl Column is a Hammer-class tank weighing an estimated 400 tonnes, whereas a typical real-world main battle tank weighs about 65 tonnes.

Hammers aren’t even the largest type of krawl in service within the Red Fleet. Invasion-class krawls are twice are large. And then there are Hydra-class super-krawls which are multiple armoured vehicles combined together.

Alexandra Goncharova pointing her shotgun

The crew of a Hammer-class krawl is a commander, a pilot, a gunner, a sorceress (usually a low-ranking warkaster) and a loader. The main gun is a 221mm cannon, and the back bears a katyusha nacelle filled with 500mm indirect-fire rockets.

The lateral turrets’ ordnance might be something like a 30mm autocannon. It seems to be coupled with a arc-protocol firing mount. It hurls white-hot arcs of magical electricity, but drains the very life force of the sorceress (“overkasting”) to power itself.

The hull is protocol-reinforced and shielded against hostile protocols. It includes Crypsis layers — magical paint that allows a krawl to change its colour to match the environment around it.

Airborne cav

The standard procedure for a Red Fleet 3-kilometres-long flying fortress (“Skyfurnace”) to deploy her krawl columns is to airdrop them – in free fall. Individual krawls are placed in disposable drop pods, enchanted to absorb the impact.

The sorceress in the krawl knows protocols to control the fall, for instance to counter the wind drift. Apparently there’s always a percentage of krawls that get crippled during a drop. The Red Fleet deems this an acceptable trade-off for rapid, cheap, on-the-spot deployment of super-heavy armour.

Don’t you know yet who I am / Working harder for the Man

Renko seemed to always have been Goncharova’s sidekick. She likely studied at the Citadel Military Academy with the rest of the cast. Like Goncharova, Renko was qualified in both air cav and armoured cav, though she seemed to be more of a gunner than a pilot and commander. Like Alex, she *also* was a competent infantrywoman.

Despite her solid talents and possible psionic abilities, Renko always was overlooked and unappreciated by the rest of the gang – and in particular Goncharova. Alexandra kept scolding her, calling her a clown and cursing about her imagined incompetence.

The demure Renko silently endured this, occasionally cursing under her breath. But despite her constant reproaches Goncharova always had Renko at her side. Renko died fighting along with Goncharova in Bahamut.

Our game stats for Renko are hypothetical, since little was seen of her.


History

Alexandra Goncharova was Maya Vlasova’s best friend since they were in their early teens. Both had been placed with the Zhinsk Special Orphanage. This school takes in girls with a potential for sorcery. Whereas Maya soon confirmed that she was a hotshot witch, Alexandra had no apparent magical talent. This leads us to suspect that Alex may have been a special sort of telekine .

Alexandra Goncharova and her krawl column

Alex and Maya stuck together as they left the bleak, mean halls of Zhinsk for the Citadel Military Academy. The Citadel is where the most gifted teenagers of the United Republics of the Red Star (URRS) are trained and educated. The rough-and-tumble, tomboyish Alexandra protected the much more naïve and girlish Maya.

When they were young adults she also arranged for a date between Maya and the Academy’s star cadet, Marcus Antares. A small group formed around Maya and Marcus, including Goncharova, Renko and a guardsman called Kyuzo.

First mission

For their first field assignment after graduation Alexandra and the rest of the gang were deployed on a deniable, covert mission. This was irregular. Specifically, it was the result of a deal struck by Marcus’ brother Urik, a Red Fleet senior officer.

Urik wanted his brother, his stepsister Maya, and their clique transferred wholesale and directly under his command. The mission was his gambit to prove to the brass that his irregular request was justified.

The commando unit was assigned an aged Samsonov Vampire helicopter gunship to perform the operation. Alexandra’s daring piloting (and Renko’s gunnery) was essential in getting everybody out of the ops area in one piece.

Alexandra hoisted on his shoulder / They slip between the sentries of the heart.

Goncharova soon started a romance with an older, more senior Red Fleet officer called Rudov Galilei. He was from Nokgorka. From the chronology we’d assume that after the covert mission Alexandra was stationed for a short time in Bahamut, Nokgorka’s capital.

Alexandra hated Bahamut, finding it too provincial. Furthermore, most Gorka people disliked her for being a Red. They thought that the United Republics were threatening their traditional social organisation. Many spoke of leaving the Union, even though that would mean a devastating war.

Talks of secession in Nokgorka were fueled by the interminable war in Al’istaan, where the mighty Red Fleet was not making much headways. Whereas the United Republics of the Red Star is magical 1980s Soviet Union, Al’istaan is magical 1980s Afghanistan. The unique wizardry of its priests bolstered the resistance to Red invasion to an unforeseen degree.

From context, Alexandra Goncharova likely served in Al’istaan under Urik Antares after leaving Bahamut, as did Rudov Galilei. Yet she had to leave when she discovered that she was pregnant. Alexandra returned to Nokgorka to give birth.

Howbeit, the Elders governing Rudov’s tribe strongly disapproved of a Gorka living with a Red soldier. Within days of having her daughter Alexandra was run out of town by pro-secession locals. She never saw her child, whom the locals claimed was a Gorka and would be raised to hate Red imperialists.

As someone long prepared for this to happen / Go firmly to the window. Drink it in.

Goncharova rejoined the Antares clique aboard the prestigious Skyfurnace Konstantinov. She rose to Captain, commanding the Konstantinov’s Eighth Krawl Column.

The Konstantinov was then deployed during the catastrophic battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate. This clash was the turning point of the long war in Al’istaan. The Red Fleet Command ordered a krawl drop in a futile attempt to regain control of the battlefield. Thus, Goncharova’s Eighth (literally) hit the ground to provide katyusha support for the beleaguered infantry.

Alexandra was specifically looking to relieve Marcus’ shock infantry unit, as it was being overwhelmed by holy warriors. However, they never had a chance to reach their comrades. Nistaani shamans unleashed the most destructive spell in recorded history.

Alexandra Goncharova firing her shotgun

Most of the Eighth was destroyed by the incantation of mass destruction. Goncharova only narrowly survived, with her krawl smashed and her crew killed. Prying herself free from the metal and corpses, she reached the teleportation gates set up by her comrades to evacuate the survivors.

The Konstantinov also had survived the spell. Alex ran into Maya, who had come groundside to search for Marcus. Alexandra had seen a destroyed skyfurnace fall on top of Marcus’ position and his vital signs monitor go dead, but Maya was irrational.

Rather than see her best friend rush to a pointless death, Alex punched Maya out. She then had her dragged through the evacuation gates.

Say good bye to Alexandra leaving

The defeat at Kar Dratha was seen by many as the beginning of the end for the URRS. Most decisively it inspired the Nogorka Resistance movement to begin armed secession, creating another quagmire for the Red Fleet. Nokgorka’s major cities were soon smashed into rubble, but the Gorka fought on with great determination.

Nine years after the disaster in Al‘istaan, the RSS Konstantinov was in Bahamut. The increasingly burnt out Alexandra hated Gorkas. She supported a hard stance toward Nokgorka Resistance despite the doubts of her CO  Urik Antares. By then, Urik was the Skymarshall commanding the Konstantinov.

During a pointless assault in the ruins of Bahamut, Goncharova’s 8th progressed on schedule. However, her flanking columns faltered and fell behind. Nokgorka Resistance successfully moved in to cut the 8th off. Seeing that there was no hope for relief or evacuation, Goncharova had the 8th make their last stand.

Once the Gorka light artillery finished off the last krawls, Goncharova ordered the survivors to dismount and form up her. The 8th continued fighting with small arms. The unit eventually dwindled to Goncharova and those in her vicinity. Renko was among the last, and was shot dead while fighting at Alex’s side.

Then say good bye to Alexandra lost

The teenaged Nokgorka Resistance heroine Makita moved in to kill Goncharova. However Alex was much more martially proficient than the ragged, under-trained Red soldiers Makita was used to fighting. The kid was sent flying like a rag doll, and Captain Goncharova lowered her shotgun to blow her head off.

Alexandra was unable to take the shot. Furious to see a 15-year old girl thrown into the meat grinder, she told Makita to get out of there and live. This left Goncharova exposed and she was shot dead by Makita’s lover, Proto. Proto was immediately killed by Red return fire.

Whether Alexandra recognised Makita as her lost daughter is unknown.

Though Alex’s death devastated Maya and her friends, Captain Goncharova’s act of mercy would prove pivotal to the history of the Motherland.


Description

See illustration.


Personality

Captain Goncharova was a soldier’s soldier. She was tough, capable, driven, relentless and superbly trained. She was demanding and expected first-rate professionalism, both from herself and her krawl crews. Her style of leadership made her feared, as she would chew her subordinates off for any mistake and wouldn’t accept excuses.

Alexandra Goncharova directing the fire of her krawls

She often addressed her krawlers as if they were adolescents, calling them “children” and “boys”. This seemed to be halfway between a private joke with her crews and a reminder that she expected them to perform above their nominal competence level.

Her hard-nosed attitude extended to her private life. Alex often forced her best friend Maya to butch up and move forward. She apparently had something of a big sister role toward the softer and more romantic Maya.

Other traits

Much of Goncharova’s toughness and take-charge attitude seemed to stem from her difficult life. It honed her survival-through-domination instincts since childhood. Cynical and bitter, Alexandra prized herself on her ability to face harsh realities head-on. More quietly, she was proud of being utterly loyal toward her friends, especially Maya and her Marcus.

Alexandra originally had a Thrill of Adventure outlook, particularly when she got to pilot an helicopter. She enjoyed flying. This trait was eroded by her cynicism, especially after she was ran out of Bahamut and lost her baby daughter.

Though she took pride in her discipline and professionalism, Goncharova had always been disillusioned about the State and her country. This worsened as she got older and wiser.


Quotes

“Okay, listen close – nobody fires before I give the order. Your wives may put up with you shootin’ off your gun early, but not me !”

Alex: “All units, this is Captain Goncharova — when we hit terminal velocity, I want those damn formations kept tight ! Krawls 23 and 104, compensate for northerly gusts — 16.8 degrees. Confirm.”
Renko: “Engaging, commander, but it’s a helluva headwind—”
Alex: “Handle it, Renko ! All krawl kasters, initiate gyro-stabilisation protocols now. Renko ! You pull a corner impact and it’s your arse !”

“Maya. Stop it. By the time you get here, we’ll be food for the dogs. I’ll be sure to tell Marcus how much you’ve missed him. Goncharova out.”

(With her shotgun pointed at Makita’s face after a failed attack) “You’re a stupid little girl to be out there ! Who the hell would send a goddamned child into… No. No more. Go on. Go on and live.”



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Krawl Captain Alexandra Goncharova

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Soldier
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: Cavalry captain
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 015 HP: 025

Skills:
Martial artist*: 05, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science (Camouflage, Cartography, Danger recognition, Demolition): 04, Military science (Field command): 06, Vehicles: 06, Weaponry (Firearms, heavy weapons): 05

Advantages:
Buddy (Renko), Credentials (Skyfurnace Konstantinov, Medium), Familiarity (Red Fleet military equipment and procedures), Rank (Captain).

Connections:
Sorceress-Major Maya Antares (High), Skymarshall Urik Antares (High), Eighth Krawl Column krawl of the RSS Konstantinov (High).

Drawbacks:
None demonstrated.

Equipment:

  • CREW VEST [BODY 07, Radio communications: 05, Skin armour: 02, Limitation : Skin armour only vs sharp impact, Drawback: Real Armour].
  • Kuvalda assault shotgun w/double protoclip [BODY 05, Projectile weapon: 07, Flame project: 02, Sharpness (Projectile weapon): 02, Range: 04, Ammo: 12, R#02, Limitations : Projectile weapons has No Range: use the Range listed instead ; Bonus: Projectile weapons (primary) and Flame project (ancillary) can and must be Combined, Advantage: Autofire].

Possible stats for Lt. Renko

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Soldier
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 04 Occupation: Cavalry lieutenant
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 009 HP: 010

Skills:
Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science (Camouflage, Cartography, Demolition): 03, Military science (Field command): 04, Vehicles: 05, Weaponry (Firearms): 04, Weaponry (Vehicular): 06

Advantages:
Credentials (Skyfurnace Konstantinov, Low), Familiarity (Red Fleet military equipment and procedures), Rank (Lieutenant).

Connections:
Captain Goncharova (High), Eighth Krawl Column krawl of the RSS Konstantinov (Low), Maya, Marcus and the gang (Low).

Drawbacks:
None demonstrated.

Equipment:
As Alexandra’s.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Captain Alexandra Goncharova — Averaged PL 5.6

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
01 02 01 03 05 01 01 01

Combat Advantages

Defensive Roll 2, Grabbing Finesse, Improved Smash, Improved Trip.

Other Advantages

Benefit (Krawl Captain of the Red Fleet), Benefit (Personal friend of Skymarshall Antares), Equipment 6.

Skills

Athletics 2 (+3), Close combat (Unarmed) 2 (+7), Deception 1 (+2), Expertise (Military officer) 10 (+11), Insight 3 (+4), Perception 4 (+5), Persuasion 1 (+2), Ranged combat (Firearms) 4 (+7), Ranged combat (Vehicular weapons) 4 (+7), Technology 4 (+5) (Limited 2 to Operation and Demolitions), Treatment 2 (+3) (Limited 2 to Revive and Stabilise), Vehicles 6 (+9).

Equipment

– Kuvalda shotgun — Multiattack Ranged Ballistic Damage 6, Armour-Piercing 1, Diminished Range 1, Feature (Incendiary ammunition) ● 19 points
– Crew vest — Protection 4 (Limited 2 to Sharp Impact), Radio communication 2 ● 10 point

Offense

Initiative +1
Unarmed +7, Close, Damage 1
Shotgun +7, Ranged (Dim. ;Range 1), Damage 6

Defense

Dodge 6 Fortitude 5
Parry 8 Toughness 4/2*
Will 6

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • Relationship Maya’s best friend.
  • Responsibilities Extensive responsibilities as a military officer.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack & Effect PL 7, Dodge/Toughness PL 5, Parry/Toughness PL 6, Fort & Will PL 6.
  • Point total 75. Abilities 30, Defences 16, Skills 16, Powers 0, Devices 0, Advantages 13. Equiv. PL 5.


Lieutenant Renko — Averaged PL 4.4

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
01 02 00 03 02 01 01 00

Combat Advantages

Defensive Roll 1, Ranged Attack 2.

Other Advantages

Benefit (Krawl Lieutenant of the Red Fleet), Equipment 6.

Skills

Athletics 1 (+2), Close combat (Unarmed) 2 (+4), Expertise (Military officer) 8 (+9), Insight 2 (+3), Perception 4 (+5), Ranged combat (Firearms) 1 (+6), Ranged combat (Vehicular weapons) 4 (+9), Technology 4 (+5) (Limited 2 to Operation and Demolitions), Treatment 2 (+3) (Limited 2 to Revive and Stabilise), Vehicles 6 (+9).

Equipment

– Kuvalda shotgun — Multiattack Ranged Ballistic Damage 6, Armour-Piercing 1, Diminished Range 1, Feature (Incendiary ammunition) ● 19 points
– Crew vest — Protection 4 (Limited 2 to Sharp Impact), Radio communication 2 ● 10 point

Offense

Initiative +0
Unarmed +4, Close, Damage 1
Shotgun +6, Ranged (Dim. Range 1), Damage 6

Defense

Dodge 4 Fortitude 5
Parry 4 Toughness 3/2*
Will 3

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • Relationship Dysfunctional friendship with Alexandra.
  • Responsibilities Extensive responsibilities as a military officer.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack & Effect PL 6, Dodge/Toughness PL 4, Parry/Toughness PL 4, Fort & Will PL 4.
  • Point total 56 Abilities 20, Defences 11, Skills 15, Powers 0, Devices 0, Advantages 10. Equiv. PL 4.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: The Red Star comics.

Helpers: Darci, Perfect Organism, Dirigible, DogMeat, and the Red Star sourcebook by Green Ronin. We’ve checked how canon it is with the fine folks at Green Ronin, who confirmed that all the material was from the notes of Red Star author Chris Gossett – who also reviewed and approved the final draft.

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