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Top 5 Russian Super Heroes

28. April 2010 by Admin 0 Comments

Russians have always had very mixed depictions in Western Media. From Television to Movies, Russians have frequently been portrayed as Antagonists to Western Heroes even in the post-Soviet era. Russians have, however, received a much better shake in Comic Books. While many 1950’s comics reflected the Red Scare mentality, with Captain America becoming a far-right-wing “Commie Smasher” and facing up against a new, Communist Red Skull, the comics of the more relaxed 1960’s and on provided a much more balanced view. As Comics are now becoming a major source of inspiration for big summer action movies, many of these positive portrayals are making it to the big screen. The following list is a group of Russian Super Heroes who each have made their mark in the entertainment world.

The Rocket Red Brigade

With their origins tied to DC Comics’ Green Lantern franchise, the Rocket Reds proudly defended the USSR against the intergalactic threats that frequently affected the comic-book world in the 1980’s. Starting out as a single hero and soon expanding in ranks to include seven heroes. The Rocket Reds (who just took the names “#1” through “#7” rather than their own Hero Identities) wore large battle suits reminiscent of Marvel’s Iron Man which provided flight, strength and firepower.

 

The Crimson Dynamo

A Soviet Scientist named Anton Vanko originally created the Crimson Dynamo battle armor to fight Iron Man, whose alter-ego Tony Stark was seen by the Soviet government as the very model of Western Decadence. The Dynamo differed from Iron Man in that along with having many of the same weapons and the same tactical advantages as Stark’s armor, the Crimson Dynamo could also control and harness nearby electricity. Over the years, the Crimson Dynamo has gone through at least 13 different pilots and versions, changing from an Iron Man villain to a Russian-based superhero that has teamed up with War Machine, Iron Man himself and operates his own Super Team, the Winter Guard. Elements of The Crimson Dynamo are being used for the character of Whiplash – played by Mickey Rourke – in the new movie Iron Man 2.

Superman

No, you didn’t misread that! In “Kick-Ass” writer Mark Millar’s 2003 Mini-series Superman: Red Son, the writer asks the question “What if the Kryptonian Superhero didn’t crash down in rural Smallville, Kansas as a boy but instead touched down in a farming collective in Ukraine?” Superman: Red Son tells a very different, yet stylistically similar story than the traditional Superman origin as a hero who inspires the Soviet Union, but still stands in the shadow of Joseph Stalin, the USSR’s own “Man of Steel”. Placing elements of DC Comics’ characters into the structure – The Batmen are a group of costumed anarchists trying to take down the U.S.S.R., Lex Luthor is a US Government scientist whose drive to destroy Superman brings him all the way to the White House and Wonder Woman is an Amazonian diplomat who becomes smitten with Superman and the Communist ideal – Millar creates an interesting story that entertains as much as it explores the mythology of Superman and the history of the Soviet Union.

The Black Widow

Featured prominently in the new Marvel Comics movie Iron Man 2 and played by Scarlett Johansson, The Black Widow was originally introduced back in 1964 as a Soviet Spy character in the pages of Iron Man. She was soon given a costume, weaponry and upgraded to the position of a Super Villain antagonist for the Hero until eventually defecting to the US and becoming a Hero and Super-Spy associated with the SHIELD organization and a member of the Super-team the Avengers. While not having anything in the way of powers, The Black Widow relies on a series of James Bond-style gadgets and Olympic level athletics to take on her adversaries.

Colossus

Probably the best-known Russian Superhero, Colossus first debuted in the pages of X-Men back in 1975. Colossus was born on a farm in Siberia and used his powers simply to protect those he lived around and to work on the collective. As an adult, he was contacted by the X-Men’s leader Charles Xavier and joined the team, hoping to use his powers to help the world like he helped his family and friends on the Collective Farm. Colossus developed the power to cover his skin with organic steel armor, which allows him to deflect bullets, survive massive injuries and grants him superhuman strength. Colossus was also featured in the X-Men movies, appearing in both X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand. He was played by Daniel Cudmore.