Moscow native Alexei Shostakov is the second man to don the uniform of the Red Guardian. In the 1950’s, the Soviet Union felt that it needed its own Captain America. They chose Shostakov, a seasoned fighter pilot and husband to Natasha Romanova aka Black Widow. As a result he was taken away in secret by the KGB and his death faked to everyone including his wife. Shostakov has no actual super powers besides being an exceptional athlete and a master of hand-to-hand combat. Red Guardian was presumed dead for many years after a battle with the Avengers, but he eventually reappears as Ronin, another character Hasbro has previously made.
By giving you that little bio I am assuming that this version of Red Guardian is Alexei Shostakov. I could be wrong, however, since I’ve since learned that at least eight other people have also worn the Red Guardian suit. Shostakov appears to be the most fleshed out of all of them.
Every wave has a few characters that are easy repaints. I mean no disrespect to Red Guardian, but he is the living embodiment of such repaints. Everything but the head is reused from the prior wave’s Captain America. Now don’t take this as a bad thing, it isn’t. I understand the necessity for these easy repaint slots. Hasbro just has to make that repaint worthwhile to me, and they pulled it off!
I did notice a slight difference in the belt between the two. Red Guardian’s buckles to the right, while Captain America’s goes to the left. At first I thought they actually re-sculpted the hip piece for a fairly trivial change. Then I noticed that the belt is actually a separate part and they just put it on upside down. Fancy that!
Where they saved some money on sculpt, they certainly made up for it in the paints. Red has always been a favorite color of mine. The red on this figure is absolutely striking! Hasbro used a nice dark red for the main body’s plastic, and then sprayed an underlying shade of black behind his white chest star. The shading of the black is very similar to the technique they used to pull off the pink around Spider-Gwen’s eyes. It’s a really nice effect and I hope to see them use it more often when appropriate.
Red Guardian doesn’t come packed with much, only a shield and a Giant Man leg. The shield is absolutely lovely, though. It has a gorgeous metallic red finish. It operates similar to all of the other comic-based Captain America shields. The inside has a clip-joint that can either plug into his back or clip onto his wrist.
For a repaint, he’s a really nicely done repaint. The paintwork and choice of colors is what really sells this figure for me. This body is sure to make a kick-ass Captain Britain in the next Civil War wave! He’s currently not for sale through any of the official distributors, but I’d keep my eye on stores like Amazon and Entertainment Earth in the coming weeks (my totally uneducated guess is April 1, Hasbro seems to be sticking to the first of the month for these things) for preorders to go live.
We have an X-Men wave not too far out as well, don’t we? This has been a damn good year for Marvel Legends. And I thought last year was good!