Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I Live To Serve


Name This Marvel Villain??

A deadly alliance between two governments brought this non-super-powered combatant into play. Once his country's most experienced test pilot, his death was faked so that he could be trained in secret to become a government operative, increasing his athletic skills and becoming an expert in hand-to-hand combat. Unfortunately, his superiors didn't stop there--he became more cruel, loyal to a mad plan to conquer the other countries of the world.

One of the victims of that loyalty was his wife--the Black Widow--who had infiltrated his stronghold and was subsequently captured, having had no idea that he was even alive. But that led to a battle between himself and a hero he had longed to prove himself against--Captain America--a battle which was cut short when his masters lost confidence in his ability to triumph. But as a result, the Red Guardian ended up saving the lives of both his wife and the hero he sought to humble, proving that there remained within him something of the man he was before his government took advantage of his loyalty.

Of course the build-up taking place in this story was the Guardian's impending meeting with Cap, his United States counterpart.  To bring them together was not only the Widow's apparent defection but a device which the story's villain, Colonel Ling, had developed--the deadly Psychotron, a sort of mechanical version of the mutant, Mastermind.  Machinery which would "soon bring the decadent democracies to their knees," as the good Colonel put it.  Well, nobody's on their knees, so you can assume the plan was foiled.

It wasn't for the Red Guardian's lack of trying.  He fought a pretty good fight.  He didn't have Cap's symbolic, flashy shield, but he had something just as exciting:, his belt buckle.

Laid low by a belt buckle.  Those henchmen will never show their faces again.  Of course, in those uniforms, they didn't show their faces anyway, but you catch my drift.  Anyway, let's find out how the man himself does against Cap:

Still, let's cut to the chase.  The time comes when the Guardian prepares to unleash his awesome--yes, you guessed it--belt buckle.  And I know you're chomping at the bit to find out:  how did that belt buckle match up against Cap's shield?

Please, were you really anticipating that?

"Run where you will."  Uh-huh.  I don't think Cap faced down the Cosmic Cube only to flee in terror when a belt buckle is brandished at him, pal.

So now it's down to the two of them hand-to-hand.  But shield or no shield, Red here is fighting Captain America, so try as he might he isn't able to overcome Cap's battle experience and knowledge of combat skills.  On the bright side, his pants stay up for the rest of the battle, despite the lack of a belt buckle, so he's free to slug it out undistracted.  What does distract him is Colonel Ling taking aim at the Black Widow--and as he leaps to defend her, the Guardian is shot, mortally wounded.

And when all the dust settles, wouldn't you know that darn Cap isn't the type to hold a grudge:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The original Red Guardian was a case of wasted potential. After a build-up to what should have been an epic showdown with Captain America, he fought Cap to a draw and then got mortally wounded while saving Natasha. Even Titanium Man got a couple of multi-issue duels with Iron Man. But then, I doubt if the Red Guardian would have been used as a recurring villain, anyway. By the late 1960's, Marvel started moving left, and communist villains became politically incorrect and obsolete.