Marvel just dropped the first trailer for Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, offering fans a first look at David Harbour’s Red Guardian. The clip cleared up a few things about the movie, yet there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered. And for fans who have not read the comics, here is a quick rundown on the Red Guardian and the role he might play in the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Inside the first ‘Black Widow’ trailer
The trailer confirmed that Black Widow will pick up following the events in Captain America: Civil War. It also showed that some of the iconic characters from the Black Widow comics will be making appearances in the film.
This includes Harbour, who is perhaps best known for playing Hopper in Stranger Things. We also get a look at Florence Pugh in her role as Yelena Belova, another Black Widow who graduated from the same Russian spy program as Natasha.
The character is featured throughout the trailer and will clearly
play an important part in the film.
Unfortunately, Red Guardian has not appeared in the comics very
much, though his appearance was significant to Black Widow’s story. So who is
Red Guardian and what are some of his powers?
A look at Red Guardian
A variety of characters have appeared as Red Guardian in the
comics, but we know for sure that Harbour’s version is Alexi Shostakov from the
For those who do not know, Red Guardian is a Russian super-soldier who is very similar to Captain America (Chris Evans). He was trained in combat and dresses in a red costume complete with a Soviet star (which was detachable and was used like Cap’s shield).
What’s really interesting is how Natasha and Red Guardian tied
the knot in the comics. According to IGN,
their romance is the reason why Natasha went all in as a spy for the Russian
The two were married before they joined the KGB. When Red
Guardian seemingly died, his death (which was orchestrated by the KGB) pushed
Natasha further into the spy game.
When it comes to his powers, Red Guardian is on the same level as
Cap, though the extent of his abilities are still unclear. The two battled it
out in one storyline and Red Guardian held his own — so he is at least on par
with Steve Rogers.
Harbour opens up about Red Guardian
Harbour confirmed his Black Widow character’s name during San Diego Comic-Con this past summer. He also revealed a few details about Red Guardian’s origin in the MCU.
“The Americans developed Captain America and in response, in
retaliation, the Soviets developed the Red Guardian. So, in that way, he is a
foil,” Harbour shared.
Harbour did not say anything about Red Guardian’s storyline,
however, so we will have to wait and see what happens on that front.
We also do not know if any of the plots from the comics will be
included in the Black Widow movie, especially the parts about Red
Guardian and Natasha’s past relationship.
Natasha has not said anything about her romantic life in the
films, so it will be interesting to see how the movie deals with that subject.
‘Black Widow’ set to launch Phase 4 of the MCU
With Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye set to start his own series on
Disney+, the only Avenger who does not have his own series is Mark Ruffalo’s
Hulk. Universal Pictures still owns the rights to the character, which means we
likely will not see a solo film for him anytime soon.
Although Black Widow is set prior to the events in Endgame,
the story will launch Phase 4 of the MCU. It is unclear how the film will tie
into the rest of the movies in Phase 4, but it could introduce some characters
who go on to appear in other projects.
Black Widow is scheduled to premiere in theaters on May 1, though there is a chance it will get released a day earlier. The movie will be followed by The Eternals, which is due out in November.