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Russia’s Comic Book Superheroes: The Soviet Super Soldiers

In the era of the Cold War, comics often times played with the idea that the two large Superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, served almost as the extreme opposites of one another. If one power had an advantage, the other would react.

Just as it was founded in history, as seen in the space program and nuclear proliferation, superheroes became involved in that realm, with the Soviet answer to the Avengers being the Soviet Super-Soldiers.

Since their introduction, the Super-Soldiers often found themselves in disputes with the Avengers, which makes sense given their analog nature to them but also, at times, they find themselves in the X-universe, as several of the members of the team are, in fact, mutants.

Russia’s Comic Book Superheroes: The Soviet Super Soldiers

At the start of the team, the Super-Soldiers consisted of:

Winter Guard: Soviet Super SoldiersUrsa Major, aka Mikihail Ursus whose power enabled him to shapeshift into a giant bear.

Darkstar aka Laynia Petrovna, whose powers involved the manipulation of the Darkforce, which is also the power used by Cloak of Cloak and Dagger. She had the ability to fly, limited teleportation and use the Darkforce to attack others. (She originally appeared in the Champions of Los Angeles book before being added as a part of the Super-Soldiers team later.)

Vanguard aka Nikolai Krylenko, who had the ability to repel any electromagnetic and kinetic energy, which he did so using a sickle and hammer, because, you know, comics.

Crimson Dynamo aka Dmirti Bukharain, who was one of many to don a suit that is very similar to Iron Man’s.

Winter Guard: Soviet Super SoldiersSometimes called the Winter Guard, the team debuted in the late 1970s, over time, they reflected the politics and the changes happening throughout their times. Once, they were very pro-Soviet, over time, they became more a voice and advocate for change, even becoming outlaws and hunted in their own country, by another Soviet team, the Supreme Soviets.

Part of why looking at this team is interesting is to watch how the political shiftings have changed the nature of the team. They essentially move from being a team dedicated to whatever their country says (and the propaganda that surrounds that) to being markers of the change in politics of that era.

It would be interesting to see a new take on this group as, again, politically, the Soviet Union and the United States finds themselves on opposite sides of several major international issues. Where would the Soviet Super-Soldiers fall?

71q9rXUpuXL._SL1050_And, they could find themselves drawn into the Marvel Cinematic Universe very soon. With the now talked about Black Widow movie and the prominence of the Soviet Union in the end of Captain America: Civil War, especially in regards to the Winter Soldier, it may be an interesting way to engage this group into a new story. (And, cynically, it helps sell the movies in the Russian market, if they suddenly have characters that they can root for.)

The comics are a little hard to find, but here is a solid starting place.


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