David Harbour Has the Perfect Caption For Behind-the-Scenes Photos With Black Widow’s Stuntwomen

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ComicBook.com 11 July, 2021 - 05:55pm 9 views

When did Red Guardian fight Captain America?

He was not Natasha's fake father on an undercover assignment, which is the story told in the MCU. And yes, he did fight Captain America in the comics, notably in his second comic book appearance in Avengers issue #44. InverseDid Red Guardian fight Captain America? We asked 'Black Widow’s director and star

Is Red Guardian a super soldier?

AlexeiRed Guardian. Alexei is known most famously as Red Room's answer to Captain America. He's a Super-Soldier spy who has lived a lifetime of triumph during the Cold War. marvel.comRed Guardian (Alexei) | Characters

How did Red Guardian get his powers?

The latest Red Guardian is Nikolai Krylenko/Vanguard, brother to Laynia Petrovna; whose powers are derived from his mutation. wikipedia.orgAlexei Shostakov as Red Guardian

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Black Widow: How Did Red Guardian Get His Powers? | Screen Rant

Screen Rant 12 July, 2021 - 01:30pm

Red Guardian was at one point the USSR's own celebrity superhero, with action figures made in his image and a brightly-colored suit and throwable shield. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, however, he was assigned the rather more mundane task of operating as a sleeper agent in the United States. To help sell his false identity he was paired up in a fake marriage with Melina Vostakoff and given two daughters: Natasha Romanoff, who had already been through some of her Widow training in the Red Room, and General Dreykov's more recent acquisition Yelena Belova, who was just three years old when Red Guardian's mission began.

Alexei's superpowers are showcased in Black Widow's thrilling opening sequence, as he uses his enhanced strength, speed and durability to help the family escape from the authorities after their cover is blown. 21 years later he is locked up in a remote maximum security prison (a consequence of offending Dreykov) and spends his days bragging about his past glories as the Red Guardian. But what happened to Alexei in his life before those glory days, besides the unfortunate incident with his father peeing on his hands to stave off frostbite? Here are the most likely explanations for how Alexei Shostakov gained his superpowers, in order of probability.

In the MCU, Red Guardian is the first and only Soviet Union super soldier, and was created to rival the military strength and propaganda potential of Captain America. If he was given his powers via a super soldier serum, then the Soviets could have obtained it from a number of possible sources. Perhaps HYDRA gifted the Soviets a dose of the same Winter Soldier serum that they used to turn Bucky Barnes into an unstoppable killing machine. Alternatively, scraps of Abraham Erskine's original research could have been discovered by the Soviets after the Allied victory in World War II, or they could have cooked up a super soldier serum entirely of their own design.

A super soldier serum would certainly explain Red Guardian's larger-than-life personality, as one of the most consistent effects of the serums is to amplify a person's essential nature. For Steve Rogers, the serum highlighted his compassion and heroism. For Red Skull, it amplified his evil. In Red Guardian's case, the super soldier serum apparently failed to make him obedient and unquestioning, and instead magnified both his braggadocious personality and his fierce affection towards those he considers family.

After recognizing the Red Guardian as her former husband in The Avengers #44, Natasha lamented that, "They changed him somehow... made him crueller! He seemed hardly the same man I once loved." The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe's entry on Alleksey Lebedev, the first Red Guardian, reveals that there was more to Alexei Shostakov's transformation into the Red Guardian than just training and brainwashing. Lebedev's biography concludes by saying that "Alleksey allegedly died during the 1950s purges, opposing the brutal experiments that eventually created his successor, Alexei Shostakov." The MCU's origin story for Red Guardian could include its own variation on these "brutal experiments," which go beyond the simple injection of a super-soldier serum and into even darker territory.

In Black Widow it's revealed that the baby girls who are taken away from their families and trafficked into the Red Room were specifically selected because of their genetic potential. Alexei Shostakov's selection as the Red Guardian could have been born out of similar reasons. If he had a latent X-gene, this could have been exploited through experimentation, brainwashing and drugs to bring his innate mutant superpowers to the surface.

Black Widow: David Harbour Says Red Guardian Might Want to Kill Hawkeye Too

ComicBook.com 12 July, 2021 - 01:30pm

Everyone wants to see Red Guardian back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After the character made it out of Black Widow alive, the future is wide open for the character, and David Harbour says he could have vengeance on his mind. While Harbour has said he'd love to return to the MCU — who wouldn't, after all? — the actor opened up on what he'd like to see from his Marvel character in potential future projects.

Speaking with Insider, Harbour said he could see Red Guardian's MCU return go one of two ways — a prequel set in the 25 years between the Black Widow prologue and the present timeline in the franchise, or a present-day story as he hunts down one of the Natasha Romanoff's (Scarlett Johansson) best friends.

"I have two ideas. One is seeing Red Guardian back in his prime. That's interesting to me. But the other is going off this story, having this experience with Natasha and having this beautiful end when he takes her hand and says 'I can't even speak to you because I would mess it up,'" Harbour told the website. "When he finds out that she was on that cliff with Hawkeye and maybe the version of the story he hears is that Hawkeye pushed her off or something, it's a moment when Red Guardian turns back to the guy he was. He now wants vengeance for her. That I feel would play well."

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David Harbour Is Marvel’s First Dad Bod Superhero

Yahoo Lifestyle 12 July, 2021 - 01:25pm

He’s also a refreshing presence in a studio franchise machine that grinds up dudes and spits out men, beefy, purling examples of the male physique developed through months of intense training. Recall Rob McElhenney’s 2018 Instagram post about what it takes to get that kind of body: Lift weights six days a week, don’t drink alcohol, especially don’t eat anything delicious, run like you’re participating in the Boston Marathon. Easy! Anyone can get ripped if they abandon their life and funnel all of their savings into the pursuit of rock hard abs. The men on Marvel’s roster almost uniformly go through this transformation, whether it’s a Chris—be it Hemsworth, Evans, or Pratt—or Paul Rudd, Kumail Nanjiani, Robert Downey Jr., or Anthony Mackie. In the MCU, flab is forbidden.

Black Widow makes an exception for Harbour. He did get jacked for 2019’s Hellboy, so it’s not like he’s a stranger to tasty rock-hard pecs, but here he’s doughier, reduced in the same way as Shostakov but sans brutal incarceration. When Romanoff and her “sister,” Yelena (Florence Pugh), spring Shostakov, their fake dad, from jail and whisk him off to relative safety, he digs up his old costume from his Red Guardian days; he was a symbol of Soviet pride, Russia’s response to Captain America when Captain America was frozen beneath the Arctic. Here it is: A chance to wear his old colors again, to remember what it was like to be his country’s champion, one more time. So the film kicks off Shostakov’s suit up sequence, a superhero picture tradition where viewers watch as the protagonist gets decked out to save the day. But there’s a problem: The suit doesn’t fit.

Nothing’s ever gone right for Shostakov, it seems. He never had a chance to face off with the hero he was engineered to fight. His surrogate “family” was a farce dissolved by his superiors in the 1990s, when his deep cover operation in the United States went tits up and he fled the country with Natasha, Yelena, and his “wife,” Melina (Rachel Weisz). In Black Widow’s present, he struggles, huffs, puffs, and grunts his way into his red leather armor. If Shostakov wasn’t stubbornly resistant to the sting of his personal failures, the scene might be heartbreaking. One look in the mirror, though, and all Shostakov sees is glory, which makes the scene less sad and more bemusing, like watching a handicapable puppy on a skateboard.

It’s easier to laugh at Harbour’s performance than to consider how meaningful it is for a dad bod to feature prominently into a Marvel movie as major as Black Widow. Again, he isn’t the center of the story, just a fixture within it; not essential but not insignificant. He spends most of his screen time awkwardly giving fatherly advice and praise to the girls he knew, now grown into women capable of remorseless murder, and making speeches he never gets to finish because his audience either can’t hear him or doesn’t stick around to listen. But Shostakov tries. Oh, he tries: To be a good dad, to be a good Russian, to be a hero if not to the world then at least to his family. Despite his bungling, he achieves a modicum of success by the end when he accepts his moral and emotional shortcomings. There is no speech. He knows he’d just screw it up.

But his body isn’t a shortcoming, not just because he refuses to see himself as “less than” for rocking a dad bod, but because the film doesn’t see him that way, either. It’s true that his love handles make up the meat of a few one-liners, particularly after he suits up. But it’s also true that, chub or no, Shostakov is still as strong as a bear, and about as hairy, too; even better, Melina openly thirsts after him over the dinner table and at the expense of Natasha and Yelena’s appetites. Sex and Marvel mix like oil and water. Shostakov and Melina lusting after each other in plain sight may be one of the horniest moments in the MCU’s entirety. But horniness aside, it feels downright revolutionary for Black Widow to even suggest that a guy with Harbour’s physique could be desirable, even “hot.”

Over the last 13 years, Marvel has made a concerted effort to normalize“Marvel bod” as an industry standard and a cultural ideal. Black Widow counters that with Harbour and his stealth abs: They’re there, but they’re hidden from radar detection by a discrete layer of pudge. It’s not that Harbour didn’t train for the movie at all. It’s that his training was meant for strength, not appearance. But Black Widow makes his appearance attractive. Shostakov might be an over the hill bozo and a relic of bygone age, but he’s still hot stuff. He knows it. Now, the rest of us do, too.

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Black Widow: Red Guardian's Most Poignant Scene Was Completely Improvised

CBR - Comic Book Resources 12 July, 2021 - 10:29am

Harbour talked to Insider about the way his character evolved throughout the movie's development, stating, "There was a lot on the page but there was also a lot of evolution." He went on to praise Black Widow director Cate Shortland for giving the cast "real freedom" to contribute to the story, revealing the song "American Pie" was not in the script, along with "little things like [Red Guardian] having a fake earpiece at one point [during the film's third act]."

Expanding on that, Harbour said the moment where Red Guardian tries to support Yelena by following her into the bedroom at Melina Vostokoff's farm originally played out differently. "She tells him to get out. In the script, he says something and leaves," Harbour explained. "I felt there's gotta be something a little more profound and I said, 'Wouldn't it be interesting if back in America when she was little and was terrified having been taken from her family the Red Guardian would put her in the car and drive around and play 'American Pie'? So from then on, she tells daddy to put in the tape.'"

Black Widow establishes this during its prologue set in 1995, wherein Red Guardian and Melina flee Ohio with Yelena and Natasha Romanoff after being exposed as undercover Russian agents. During their getaway, Red Guardian plays "American Pie" for Yelena -- who's too young to understand they're pretending to be a regular family -- to keep her calm. Years later, while attempting to comfort Yelena at Melina's farm, he sings the song, allowing the pair to reconnect, if only for a moment.

"So for this bedroom scene, I'm thinking, he's a failure as a father what can he do at the end of this scene?" Harbour explained." This narcissist who also has a big heart. And so he brings up the song, basically as him saying, 'I tried.'"

Directed by Cate Shortland, Black Widow stars Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, O-T Fagbenle as Mason and Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff. The film is in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access now.

Source: Insider

David Harbour Explains the Significance of American Pie in Black Widow

Screen Rant 12 July, 2021 - 08:57am

Black Widow stars Scarlett Johansson in her first solo film as Natasha Romanoff (a.k.a Black Widow), after a decade long career with the MCU. The film takes place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. On the run as a fugitive after Civil War, Romanoff seeks to take down the Red Room, the Soviet Union's top-secret assassins training program. To do so, she teams up with her adoptive Russian family. Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz) and Alexei Shostakov (Harbour) are undercover spies who took in orphaned girls Romanoff and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), while posing as a normal Ohioan family. As Romanoff returns to her roots and confronts her past, the film explore some deep themes about family dysfunction and parental failure.

In an interview with Insider, Harbour revealed the significance behind the "America Pie" song in Black Widow and why he suggested it for the particular Yelena and Shostakov scene. In the scene, Shostakov is failing at his role as a parent and is kicked out of the room by Yelena. Instead of Shostakov simply leaving, Harbour suggested he start singing "American Pie," touching back on a memory of when he played the song to comfort Yelena when she was a young and frightened child. The song is the only way Shostakov knows how to reach Yelena and to tell her that he "tried" as a parent. Check out his statement below:

We were sitting around talking about the family structure and in the bedroom scene with Red Guardian and Yelena Belova, my character is fumbling trying to be a father and in the end, he fails. She tells him to get out. In the script, he says something and leaves. I felt there's gotta be something a little more profound and I said, "Wouldn't it be interesting if back in America when she was little and was terrified having been taken from her family the Red Guardian would put her in the car and drive around and play 'American Pie'? So from then on, she tells daddy to put in the tape. So for this bedroom scene, I'm thinking, he's a failure as a father what can he do at the end of this scene? This narcissist who also has a big heart. And so he brings up the song, basically as him saying, "I tried."

Black Widow's strong family theme is one of the most unique aspects of the film. Family is not a term synonymous with superheroes, with few having families of their own and the majority of them having deceased parents or siblings. Thus, it was particularly touching to see Romanoff's return to her family as the film explored family bonds. It also raises an interesting question of how her family will respond and cope with Black Widow's death. Meanwhile, moments like the "American Pie" scene resonate strongly with audiences, particularly with parents who sometimes struggle to reach their children. The scene shows that even the most twisted and convoluted family relations can still hold some sacred memories and connections. Harbour and Pugh boasted strong performances in Black Widow and their special moments together make viewers hopeful to see Yelena and the Red Guardian return in the MCU's future.

Source: Insider

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